Colt filed for bankruptcy. The historic gun company Samuel Colt opened, in 1836, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection on Sunday. Colt was placed up for sale in an “unusual auction” by its current owner. The opening bid for the company which made the “gun that won the West” was zero dollars.
A Sciens Capital Management private equity firm affiliate reportedly offered to purchase Colt by assuming the gun company’s fiscal obligations — including up to $105 million in outstanding loans and about $20 million in new loans.
The first Colt plant opened in Paterson, New Jersey. Colt guns were used by both Union and Confederate soldiers during the Civil War. The Colt Single Action Army Revolver was introduced in 1873 and has been largely credited for “winning the West.”
Buffalo Bill Cody was one the first, but most assuredly not only, notable Americans to carry a Colt. The 1873 Colt used by Buffalo Bill reportedly sold for $40,625 at a Heritage Auction last June. The firearm is believed to be one of only five Colt Single Action Army Revolvers left in existence — and the only Frontier Six Shooter which belonged to Cody. In June, 2011, a Colt gun owned by infamous gangster Al Capone sold for $109,080. Bat Masterson, President Teddy Roosevelt, and General George Patton were also reportedly loyal Colt customers.
Colt Defense has been headquartered in West Hartford, Connecticut. The gun company reportedly became mired in debt before garnering about $20 million in financing from its primary owner, the private equity firm of Sciens Capital Management, so operations could continue. Both handgun and rifles sales began to slide in recent years. The firearms manufacture lost a “decades-long” Defense Department contract to supply the Army with M4 carbine rifles in 2012.
The Colt Chief Restructuring Officer, Keith Maib, shared some details about the future of the gun company in a public statement after the bankruptcy filing.
“Importantly, Colt remains open for business and our team will continue to be sharply focused on delivering for our customers and being a good commercial partner to our vendors and suppliers. We look forward to successfully executing on this plan, which provides a sound path of stewardship for an iconic American brand and the key stakeholders we serve.”
No comment about the Colt bankruptcy filing has yet been issued by the company. Approximately 800 employees work for the manufacturer.
“Anyone who believes it’s too low, they have a right to put in whatever bona fide bid they want,” Van Conway, president of Conway MacKenzie, a “turn around” firm, said. “The company is an icon,” Conway also noted when stating that the firearms manufacturer will definitely attract more bidders.
[Image via Wikipedia]