CZ Group Nearing Colt Acquisition

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According to new documents, CZ Group is in late talks to acquire Colt.

On the heels of Remington Outdoor Company’s bankruptcy and subsequent division of assets, reports indicate another classic American firearm brand may soon be under new ownership. Parent to CZ-USA and Dan Wesson Firearms, Česká zbrojovka Group (CZG) is in late talks to acquire Colt Holding Company LLC (Colt), according to new regulatory documents.

November 2020, CZG announced it was granted merger and acquisition (M&A) exclusivity to “conduct its due diligence for the acquisition of 100% of the outstanding equity interest in Colt Holding LLC, a Delaware entity and indirect owner of the Colt Manufacturing Company LLC operating business.” The letter was followed up earlier this month with another noting the exclusivity period had been extended until the end of January, with both parties having reached “an agreement in principle on key commercial parameters of the transaction.”

While the technical parameters and legal terms and conditions are still being discussed, expectations are a deal will be closed, though no assurances can be made until regulatory approval.

Colt revived the fan-favorite Python, but it hasn't been enough to sustain the company. (Photo: Rob Jones)

Unlike Colt, which has struggled to regain a stable footing after filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in 2015, CZG has reported record financial growth in recent years. In 2019, CZG operations generated $227.3 million (CZK 5.96 billion) in revenue — an increase of 11.6% over 2018 — while the first nine months of 2020 alone have brought in $232.8 million (CZK 5 billion), up 10.2% year-over-year. Citing an “enormous increase of demand [in] the U.S. civilian market,” the U.S. represented 70% of 2020 revenue as the company sold 337,489 firearms globally — 18.1% more than the same period in 2019. Headquartered in the Czech Republic, CZG has production facilities in the Czech Republic and United States, employing some 1,650 people.

Dating back to Samuel Colt’s first handgun in 1836, Colt has supplied firearms to civilian, military and law enforcement customers in the U.S. and throughout the world for over 175 years. While it’s unknown what the next five, 75 or 175 years will hold for the manufacturer of the storied Single Action Armory, Python, M1911 and M16, there’s hope an acquisition by CZG will return the Colt name to prominence.

Stay tuned for more updates on the CZG-Colt acquisition.