thefirearmblog,com wonders about The Future of Bushmaster/Remington ACR. Bottom line: “If the ACR wins [the Army’s rifle contract competition] and becomes the next Army carbine the company will have a guaranteed revenue stream for the next 20 years. Consumers, LEO enforcement and foreign-militaries would all want to own the same gun used by the troops. I suspect the Freedom Group would then resume efforts to go public.” And if they don’t . . .
The Freedom Group includes Remington, Bushmaster Firearms, DPMS/Panther Arms, Marlin, H&R, The Parker Gun, EOTAC, Mountain Khakis, Advanced Armament Corp., Dakota Arms and Barnes Bullets. It’s the brainchild of Cerberus Capital Management, strip-and-flip specialists who know a thing or two about cutting the fat out of production-heavy industries.
To that end, Cerberus worships the gods of Six Sigma, a system designed to improve quality while driving down costs. Yes, well, the Freedom Group’s firearms-related companies are suffering from product overlap, worrying quality control problems and most concerning of all, a tendency to commit cultural genocide on its acquisitions (R.I.P. Marlin).
The man who drove Home Depot into the dirt and guided Chrysler and its captive lender into multiple billions in taxpayer bailouts now helms the Freedom Group. Former GE suit Bob Nardelli may not be the first name on the short list to run a gunglomerate, but he’s no fool. He’ll get paid millions no matter what. Again. Still.
Meanwhile, expect Cerberus to use all its powerful Washington connections to secure the Army’s nod for the ACR. If they don’t, it’s only a matter of time before the whole thing falls apart. Expect the Freedom Group to get sold off, piece by piece. ‘Cause no one in their right mind would try to find “synergy” by agglomerating such a disparate and discreet farrago of firearms brands.
I reckon the only reason The Freedom Group still exists is that most of the brands sheltering under the Cerberus corporate umbrella are worth less than they were before they were put under central management—despite the relatively healthy market for guns and gun gear. Bargain-minded corporate rescuers stand by.