The Hartford Courant reported on Jan. 12 that, “Gun manufacturer Colt, an American legend and Connecticut fixture for nearly 175 years, could come under European ownership in a deal being negotiated with a Czech firearms company.”
The story stemmed from a statement issued by CZ Group [PDF] on Jan. 9 in which the company said, “The parties have reached an agreement in principle on key commercial parameters of the transaction and they continue discussing the technical parameters, regulatory review requirements, and legal terms and conditions of the transaction.
Execution of the definitive documentation for the transaction is estimated to take place by the end of January 2021, subject to completing the negotiations, finalizing the transaction documentation, and obtaining necessary approvals of the relevant stakeholders.”
Colt was founded by Samuel Colt at the age of 22. Among the most historically important firearms he and his company helped create are the Walker and famed Colt Single Action Army. The company has also manufactured and provided a variety of firearms for the U.S. military.
The firm traces its roots back to 1836, although it temporarily shuttered its doors in 1842. The factory burned to the ground in 1864 and it filed for bankruptcy protection in both 1992 and 2015. It emerged on both occasions, but the last recovery presented a different set of hurdles—the labor union that represents the plant’s workers filed a lawsuit in 2018 and unfounded rumors began circulating when it withdrew from an oversaturated AR-15 market.
CZ Group is headquartered in the Czech Republic, with subsidiary firms there, as well as the United States and Germany. It currently employs 1,650 people worldwide.
No other official statements have been released by either company at press time. American Rifleman will continue to monitor the situation and post updates as they are available.