A Czech gunmaker announced an agreement to acquire the parent company of Colt's Manufacturing, the iconic brand based in West Hartford whose revolver "won the West" in American lore.
Česká Zbrojovka Group SE indicated plans to pay $220 million in cash and 1.1 million shares of its stock for Colt Holding Company LLC, with possible additional shares depending on Colt's future profitability. The combined company would have $500 million in annual revenue and "presents a real small arms powerhouse," in the words of CZG's chairman Lubomír Kovařík in a company press release.
The deal would be subject to U.S. regulators.
"The acquisition of Colt, an iconic brand and a benchmark for the military, law enforcement and commercial markets globally, fits perfectly in our strategy to become the leader in the firearms manufacturing industry and a key partner for the armed forces," Kovařík was quoted saying. "We are proud to include Colt, which has stood shoulder-to-shoulder with the U.S. Army for over 175 years, in our portfolio."
Samuel Colt received his first revolver patent in 1836, with the company continuing to thrive under his successor Elisha Root after Colt's death in 1862.
Samuel Clemens would use Colt's Hartford factory as an inspiration for "A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court," published under his Mark Twain pen name. The story's protagonist travels back in time to the court of King Arthur and wins influence through engineering techniques learned at the plant.
Splitting into separate companies in 2002 with Colt Defense taking on military contracts — Colt was the original developer of the M16 assault rifle long used by the U.S. military — it would merge anew in 2013 only to file for bankruptcy two years later.
This article was written by Alexander Soule from The Hour, Norwalk, Conn., and was legally licensed via the Tribune Content Agency through the Industry Dive publisher network. Please direct all licensing questions to email@example.com.