Colt Holding Co. has been purchased by a Czech firearms company, ending a 175-year run as an American company and helping to establish a “small arms powerhouse,” the two companies announced Friday.
It also marks a new chapter for Colt, a one-time financially troubled company that, with its new Czech owner, is now expected to generate $500 million in revenue.
Ceskazbrojovka Group, or CZG, said it signed a definitive agreement to acquire 100% of the shares of Colt Holding Co. LLC, the parent company of Colt’s Manufacturing Co. and its Canadian subsidiary, Colt Canada Corp., for $220 million in cash and more than 1 million shares of the Czech company.
The agreement also calls for potentially issuing up to 1.1 million shares of newly issued CZG stock if defined profit thresholds are achieved between 2021 and 2023.
Lubomir Kovarik, president and chairman of CZG, said the deal is a “strategic step for both companies.”
“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,” he said.
The combined group “presents a real small arms powerhouse,” Kovarik said.
Colt, which manufactures guns for the military, police and civilian customers, has designed and made firearms in Connecticut since 1847. The company’s success in the 19th and 20th centuries mirrored Hartford’s rise as a wealthy manufacturing center.
CZG now acquires significant production capacity in the United States and Canada and substantially expands its global customer base, the company said. It makes firearms for military and law enforcement, personal defense, hunting, sport shooting and other civilian uses.
CZG operates production facilities in the Czech Republic and in Kansas City, Kan., and a subsidiary in Norwich, N.Y. It employs about 1,650 people in the Czech Republic, the U.S. and Germany.