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Defying the expectations of many, the rampant horse rides again. Colt Defense LLC has emerged from the legal quagmire of Chapter 11 bankruptcy proceedings (press release follows). They’ve raised some capital, dumped some debt and now they’re tanned, rested and ready to roll once again. The only question remaining: whether they have the product line and marketing chops to appeal to the American gun buyer in a significant way. In their favor is the fact that gun sales are booming, and figure to only get better as the election (and Hillary!’s “inevitable” nomination) approaches. Then again, the company couldn’t seem to take advantage of the last biggest gun-buying boom in American history. As with most great questions of the day, the answer will be revealed in the fullness of time . . .

WEST HARTFORD, Conn. – January 13, 2016 – Colt Defense LLC (“Colt” or the “Company”), today announced it has completed its financial restructuring and emerged from its Chapter 11 process. The Company concluded its restructuring after completing all required actions and satisfying all remaining closing conditions to its Amended Joint Plan of Reorganization (the “Plan”), which was confirmed by the United States Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware (the “Court”) last December.

Under the Plan, Colt has significantly restructured and reduced its debt, improved its capital structure, and enhanced its liquidity profile. Specifically, the Company has reduced its debt by approximately $200 million, after giving effect to $50 million of new capital raised through the restructuring process.

In addition, the Company has executed a long-term lease for its West Hartford Facility and has entered into a Memorandum of Understanding with the United Auto Workers that reaffirms its strong relationship with the union and its workforce.

“It is with profound appreciation to all of our key stakeholders that we share that we have completed the restructuring process and are emerging from Chapter 11 with a solid capital structure, significantly less debt, and much greater financial flexibility,” said Dennis Veilleux, President and Chief Executive Officer of Colt Defense LLC. Mr. Veilleux added. “Importantly, we were able to restructure our balance sheet while meeting all obligations to our customers, vendors, and suppliers throughout this process. This is a true testament to the hard work and support of our dedicated employees, as well as an affirmation of a shared confidence among our key stakeholders and creditors that Colt is on the right path. We are grateful for their commitment to Colt and we look forward to the future as we build on our heritage as an iconic American brand with renewed vigor and purpose.”

Perella Weinberg Partners L.P. acted as financial advisor of the Company, Mackinac Partners LLC acted as restructuring advisor of the Company and O’Melveny & Myers LLP acted as the Company’s legal counsel.

GLC Advisors & Co., LLC acted as financial advisor and Brown Rudnick LLP acted as the legal counsel to the Ad Hoc Group of bondholders.

For access to documents filed in the United States Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware, including the Second Amended Plan and related Disclosure Statement, and other general information about these Chapter 11 cases, please visit: http://www.kccllc.net/coltdefense.

About Colt

Colt is one of the world’s leading designers, developers and manufacturers of firearms. The company has supplied civilian, military and law enforcement customers in the United States and throughout the world for more than 175 years. Our subsidiary, Colt Canada Corporation, is the Canadian government’s Center of Excellence for small arms and is the Canadian military’s sole supplier of the C7 rifle and C8 carbine. Colt operates its manufacturing facilities in West Hartford, Connecticut and Kitchener, Ontario. For more information on Colt and its subsidiaries, please visit www.colt.com.

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76 Responses to Colt Emerges From Bankruptcy

  1. Not only do they suck, they’re also butt buddies with the unions. No thanks. If they don’t start offering all of their products to civilian markets, as well as bring in some new products, they’ll just go back down the tubes. Here’s hoping.

  2. The fact that they’re staying in CT and have to deal with a union is only going to work against them. That and the boring gun lineup. We all know which guns they should be making. If they can’t or won’t, they should just close up shop (which seems inevitable if things don’t change).

  3. The prancing pony doesn’t carry weight anymore. There are several similar firearms at better prices, with better quality, from manufactures that don’t snub the civilian market. Buena suerte, Colt.

    • +1. The new Colt motto “You suck and we hate you”. News at 11, Heckler and Koch sues Colt for its new motto.

  4. At this point I’d really need a reason to buy a gun from them, as opposed to go equivalent from one of their competitors.

    I just don’t see anything in their lineup that’s not a “commodity gun,” for instance 1911s.

      • … which is exactly what I was getting at.

        Selling a commodity is a hard business, as everyone else is selling basically the same thing. (Flat panel TVs also come to mind as an example.) So you can compete on service, reputation, or a marginal advantage like free shipping or somewhat better parts for the price.

        Colt, as far as I can tell, has none of those. At least not anymore.

  5. So did Sciens Capital come up with the $10 million in additional funding they were obligated for in the bankruptcy plan? They missed a funding deadline just a week ago.

    Here’s another interesting note. ALL of Colt’s firearms dropped off the California Roster (they can be put back on, but for now they are gone) EXCEPT a Colt Commander and–wait for it–the Python.

    • I thought single actions were exempt from the roster? No matter. A huge market share has been cut out of Colts future if they can’t do business in CA.

      At this point the only colt I miss is my Dick special.

      • Single action (pre 1899) revolvers and clones are exempt. The Colt SAA has never been on the roster. Semi-autos are not exempt, but we always had a number of 1911s to chose from, as long as they were more than 50 years old or Series 80. Absent any material change, previously approved guns can be relisted. Cosmetic changes (such as special limited editions) are OK, but changing the material or manner in which any component part is manufactured, even if simply from forged to MIM, runs afoul of the material change restriction.

    • Almost all of the ones dropped were low-volume ‘tribute’ variants of the full-sized 1911.

      Single action revolvers, of proper dimensions, are exempt fro the Roster; that does not apply to semi-autos.

  6. You lost me at “[Colt] has entered into a Memorandum of Understanding with the United Auto Workers that reaffirms its strong relationship with the union.”

    Today’s Unions are a Socialist cancer on this country. No thank you, Colt. Just one more reason to not buy your products.

    • Unions are a way for workers to increase their bargaining power without the state stepping in and forcing an employer to do anything. Not sure how supposedly Liberty-oriented people can hold so much vitriol for them.

      • At one point, they served that purpose effectively. However, since the late seventies, they’ve begun to tie their collective bargaining to the “closed shop” and at the same time became extremely politically active, to the point where several have been caught threatening shop-floor voters if they didn’t vote D.

        • As he said.

          Anyone, anywhere, that positions themselves such that simply “doing their job” ends up championing more government, laws and regulations, have jumped the shark. Unions, at least most of the ones in the US, have long since done that. And ergo, are nothing but expendable trash. Along with banksters, most lawyers, most AMA apologist doctors, realtors and a whole slew of others who prey on, or at a minimum extract unnaturally high rents from, productive people, under Leviathan’s cover.

      • As a liberty-oriented person, I’m naturally opposed to being forced to join an organization just to be allowed to do my job. Especially if that organization is going to take my money and spend it on political candidates who are aggressively opposed to liberty.

  7. A company with a legacy. Samuel Colt, the Colt 45, the 1911 and the Python. A legacy squandered by management team after management team. Each with their own get rich quick scheme. Now we have a group expert in bankrupty recovery and buzzwords obscuring the plan to sell out to some company that values the name only. Mr. Colt shake hands with Mr. Norinco.

      • No kidding. Aside from one bad jam (caused by Remington ammo, no less! An out-of-spec slug rim hung up the extractor, requiring disassembly and a Leatherman. No issue with Federal, Suprema, or Estate), my Norinco-manufactured 870 clone is the equal, if not superior- I’ve never had ejection problems due to a poorly-manufactured chamber- to any of its Remington equivalents, at half the price. I would estimate 500-600 through it in a five-month period, with no real problems.My girlfriend’s Norinco gun has been just as reliable; I’ll probably purchase another for a slug gun build as I get into reloading.

        • There is, or was, a Norinco pump marketed here under the Savage brand. It’s about 95% 870 and it really works. If i didn’t already have a safe full of beater Mossbergs I’d get a couple of them.

  8. Despite that they have basically pissed all of us off in some way or another, I still like to see any American company succeed. If GM can do it anyone can. Maybe they will get their shit together.

    • ” If GM can do it anyone can.”

      Have the Fed provide a tacit backstop for Colt Financial, so that they will lend 100% of purchase price to anyone without a credit rating who can fog a mirror, and Colt could “do it”, too.

  9. They’re going to need to innovate their ass off. What did they ever make that is not now made by12 other companies, usually better? What older gun would they bring back that would result in real sales? The Python? Serious question.

    • It would have to be a de-contented version of the Python; the skilled craftsmen it took to produce that revolver have long since retired and/or died. It’s a cool thing to think about, though. I wouldn’t mind seeing a new version of the Trooper, myself.

      • Mass produce Troopers and make a few Pythons out of the custom shop. I’d bet if there’s only 50/year available they’d bring the $4000 they’d need to produce them. Just don’t screw up the Pythons. If you can’t make a decent gun for $4k what good are you? I’m sure they could scrounge up enough skilled gunsmiths to do that.

        • Nibbling around the edges isn’t going to save Colt. They need to hire at least one actual gun designer to design some guns for them. Guns that they can manufacture and sell in serious quantity. Limited runs are great for brand building, but Colt needs some bread-and-butter products that aren’t 1911s and AR-15s.

      • Actually you could make a better and less expensive Python today. CNC machines eliminate the need for skilled machinists and they produce parts dimensionally consistant so hand fitting is not necessary. Sig stopped stamping and welding slides and went back to machining them because of this. All you have to do today is write a program, monitor tooling wear and come up with the dough for the machines..

  10. It’s going to be tough for them to get back in the game at this point. Pre-bankruptcy, they all but ignored the civilian market, and in the meantime, other manufacturers have quickly filled any niche I can think of. I don’t know what Colt could offer now that would stand-out in any way.

  11. They’ll be back into BK soon enough. The people running the company are just strip-mining equity out of the company and bilking creditors at this point.

    • Yep. The only real money flowing through Colt next year will be handed immediately to the finance puppies that owned and bankrupted the place, this to pay them the rent due on the factory, as “the Company has executed a long-term lease for its West Hartford Facility” with the owners of the company who stripped the factory asset a few years back. Each time they run Colt through bankruptcy the owners have owned one more key piece separately. They can refinance next year taking the Colt brand, tm, as security. That accomplished, folding the operating company for good will make sense.

  12. [T]he Company . . . has entered into a Memorandum of Understanding with the United Auto Workers that reaffirms its strong relationship with the union and its workforce.

    The UAW is the reason why I haven’t owned an American car since 1983.

      • If unionized labor didn’t terrorize their company ownership, if they made inexpensive and good quality products, we’d be OK with buying what they make.

        Workers in the US used to make all kinds of products, which were of great quality and relatively low price, while earning some of the highest wages (relative to workers in other countries). You can thank the unions for destroying all of that.

        • Ever time I see a video of the disaster area known as Detroit, I want to write an incendiary note to the UAW. It destroyed an industry and a once-proud city. Nice going, guys.

        • Detroit was once one of the wealthiest cities in the world. Unions and socialist politicians turned it into what it is today. But hey, what do I know.

        • So when the last American created vehicle leaves our shores what will you do then? Check to make sure your Kia or Dongfeng is not tainted by union labor ?

        • Ken W, I’ll still be buying Toyota trucks, made right down the road in San Antonio, Texas.

        • Ken, there are still non-unionized plants making cars in the US. The list is short and they are foreign brands, but it’s not impossible to have either US or foreign manufactures employ non-union labor. Why do you think Boeing moved to SC to a non-union plant? Unions have outrageous demands that keep driving costs higher and higher. Sooner or later the workers will have to realize that they will be unionized but unemployed.

        • Actually Union membership was highest in this country in the 50s and had been declining ever since, just like this country.Perhaps global competition that didn’t exist until the 70s killed Detroit, or maybe “free trade” agreements.

        • Yes you can buy Nissan / Toyota etc vehicles that are made in America. Not created here, no American know how goes into them and we do not have much in the way of input other than labor. And the profits go overseas.
          We are losing our manufacturing abilities. What are you going to do when Chinese industry switches from vehicle production to weaponry? Send an order to China to make new weapons ? Lennon was right, just in the wrong context. Let the the American Capitalist import cheap Chinese crap and they will swiftly eliminate the ability to manufacture anything in the U.S.A. ( hang us with our own rope ) You remember the lesson of WWII don’t you. Our vast resources and ability to ramp up production of planes, tanks, jeeps, armaments etc did a lot to help us win. Imagine if we had switched over to having China or Japan make everything for us in the 30’s.
          Unions are not perfect but refusing to buy anything made by Unionized Americans tells me a lot about your ideals.

  13. I have seen any thing that Colt offer so far as new firearms that gone make any big waves in 1911 market place way over price. Right now you can buy any Ruger Springfield Armory Kimber Remington Para 1911 from low end top end those company’s 1911. Smith Wesson Sig all,s make 1911 that more desirable adorable than Colt. Yes there company’s all over world make more affordable 1911 than Colt. Than the Ar15 market on high end that market Fn beating Colt on quality there Ar 15 at price point that beats Colt to. On low price point end Colt offer strip down m4. Is going win that market so many company make low end m4 offer more what Colt gone be offer in low end m4. It be silly buy strip down Colt m4 spend extra money up grade when can buy same gun with same quality as Colt from some else that not strip down like Colt new m4 would cost dime extra do so . I agree with those say until Colt stop being lazy and makes what people want stop selling what they think people just want well see them in Bankruptcy again down road.

    • Which is why I don’t own one, although I’d like one. The cheapest I’ve seen for a full size is $900 or better.

  14. Striker fired 1911. If anyone can do it, maybe Colt can. Also, now that guns like the SW Governor and Taurus Judge have gained popularity, maybe Colt could get into that market too?

    What legacy does Colt have that they could capitalize on to boost their sales in the current market?

  15. Colt comes out of bankruptcy just in time for SHOT 2016. They gonna be handing out free keyrings and magnets at the show to celebrate?

  16. Colt is still in bed with the UAW even after the bankruptcy? They’re doomed right from the start. It doesn’t take a genius to figure out what they needed to do to survive and prosper. No offense to the hard working Americans in Colt’s Connecticut factory, but reality is that step 1 needed to be to build modern manufacturing facilities in right to work states and to learn how to make quality Colt firearms in the 21st century.

  17. Well, with only a Model O4691 Commander Ser 80 / Carbon Steel .45 ACP pistol and a Model I3060CS Python (silver) / Stainless Steel .357 Magnum revolver on California’s list of approved handguns, they’re certainly not going to sell very many anythings in the Golden State. Due to their bankruptcy proceedings they failed to pay the $200 renewal fee per handgun, and everything else was dropped from the list.

  18. The LE6920 AR isn’t a bad first AR. I’ve had mine for a few years now and have run it quite often and quite harshly, without any malfunctions.

  19. “In addition, the Company has executed a long-term lease for its West Hartford Facility and has entered into a Memorandum of Understanding with the United Auto Workers that reaffirms its strong relationship with the union and its workforce.”

    Colt probably wouldn’t have went broke if they didn’t have a union

    Unions have destroyed America, both private and public sector unions should be outlawed.

    Want to form a union or go on strike? Go to PRISON where you belong you lazy Communist piece of garbage

    • Unions are perfectly OK. The thing that is wrong with them, is that they are currently in bed with governments and institutions of the state. Championing laws that limit people’s freedom.

      As always and everywhere, the state is the problem. Those are the ones that should be kicked out, violently if need be, at least once every generation. Once they are gone, and replaced with the appropriate nothing, unions serve a great role in providing for members who are down on their luck, preventing employers from pitting one worker against the other in some race to the bottom etc.

      But as long as the state is there, and large enough that it is the ultimate arbiter of essentially all spoils, any union boss looking out for his membership, will have to get in bed with them. But, again, the problem in the state. Government. The oppressors. the Junta…. Always and everywhere. Get rid of those guys, and everything else will sort itself out, one way or the other.

  20. Meh-they sure advertise on Sportsman and Outdoor Channels. And so does Stag Arms-what’s going on with THAT brand? Colt is just a name to ME-like an American Zenith TV…

  21. My Colt Combat Elite is without a doubt the best out of the box mid level pistol I’ve ever had. It runs flawlessly, and just feels great.
    And so what? That’s not what you are going to build a market on. The debt relief in this deal is all well and good, it keeps them swimming, but they are still swimming in circles. I see no fundamental change in Colt’s business model, or product offerings. That means they will end up right back in bankruptcy sooner rather than later.

    • That’s my fear too. They’ve missed the boat on the commercial market again. The Feds kind of threw them a bone by breaking off some of the newer M4 production back to them again, but they could easily tell them to suck wind and give that share of the production to another arms manufacturer.

      Just out of a sense of pride in our history I don’t want to see Colt reduced to a fancy nameplate that another company throws on their guns for credibility.

  22. Colt actually has a pretty broad range of products in their portfolio: bolt-action precision rifles, accurized AR-15’s in different calibers and barrel lengths, stock AR-15’s in 5.56, 300BLK, and 9mm, AR-10’s, variations of the 1911, the SAA revolver. There’s about 10 guns in their brochure I’d love to get my hands on.

    As for the union, it’s not like Colt invited them in. That was the employees doing.

    • “As for the union, it’s not like Colt invited them in. That was the employees doing.”

      All the more reason for Colt to cut those employees loose and move to a friendlier state for their business. Of course, such moves are expensive, and it’s way too late for Colt to pull it off. They should have started moving a decade ago. Instead, we all have to watch a historic and once-great American company slowly collapse under the collective weight of many, many bad decisions.

  23. I think Colt is delaying the obvious. I don’t think they can manufacture a competitively priced gun where they are located with union labor and restrictions. Others can make them at a lower price with equal or better quality. I think most of the people who buy a Colt because of the name are getting beyond their prime buying age or are dead.

  24. I bought a Colt 1911 XSE Govt. model lightweight last year. I really like it, have had no issues, but it was bought mainly out of nostalgia for a once great company. My first “real” handgun that I carried concealed was a Colt Commando, a matte finished version of the more expensive Detective Special. That gun was followed by a couple of Pythons that I sold (sigh) and a really nice royal blue Colt 1911 Govt Model series 70. Along the way there was a Trooper and a Lightweight Commander that got the full Miami Vice treatment. Unfortunately, due to divorce lawyers insisting on getting paid and needing to make payroll for my business, all of these got sold off at one time or another. I still have a soft spot for the prancing pony.
    I’d like to see Colt thrive, but it sure seems insane to stay in Connecticut shackled by a union, a hoplophobic state government, a stale product line and no clear game plan to move forward. How they managed to miss out on the gun buying craze for the last 7 years is a huge red flag that their management is inept.

  25. Now, make your products affordable so people can buy them again! Move to a state that wants your company there. Improve your Q. C!

  26. Many businesses run by the accountants and lawyers believe success is founded on eliminating liability, and cutting costs to the bone. No concern about product offerings, customer expectations, or any of the other mundane elements of operating a business. In the early 90s, IBM was about to be broken-up because the engineers and accountants could not see any other way to bring value to stockholders. The board of directors has the genius to hire a cookie salesman to turn the company around. Then, when the cookie salesman retired, the engineers and accountants took over again. IBM was once the gold standard. When was the last time you heard much about that?

  27. So, what are they doing new that will be sustainable where the old was not?

    “Under the Plan, Colt has significantly restructured and reduced its debt, improved its capital structure, and enhanced its liquidity profile”

    Oh, so nothing, just a powerpoint presentation.

  28. Anyone else find it ironic that Colt’s workforce belongs to a union that contributes to anti-gun politicians almost exclusively?

  29. Let me first begin by saying I am not a big union supporter. I see a lot of union bashing as the downfall of colt but no one is blaming the ceo for mismanagement. Why is it OK for ceo’s to make millions of dollars a year?

    • Why not ?

      Where is it written that everyone must be economically equal ? Or equal in just about anything else ? Mathematically (which escapes most people who support “social justice”), you can disassemble the entire wealth of the nation and spread the money around to everyone; then what happens the next day? forcefully (legislation) spreading the wealth does not lift anyone out of their circumstances; robs people of any reason to achieve anything.

  30. This company is nothing but a joke at this point. Get rid of the Unions, move to Texas, and stop worrying about government handouts. Seriously how do they expect to be relevant long term by not addressing the real problems.

    Furthermore, I would love to see the Henry Family buy the remains of Colt and let them or the Ruger Co. fix it.

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