cz colt

News broke last month that Czech firearms maker CZ Group was in talks to acquire Colt Holding Company, the parent of legendary American firearms maker Colt’s Manufacturing, LLC. That deal is now done.

As Reuters reports . . .

CZG-Ceska Zbrojovka Group said on Thursday it would acquire group Colt Holding Company for $220 million and CZG shares as the Czech gunmaker expands in the larger U.S. market.

CZG, whose firearms include CZ (Ceska Zbrojovka), Dan Wesson and Brno Rifles, is active already in the United States and building a factory in Little Rock, Arkansas.

The Czech group said it would acquire 100% in Colt Holding, the parent of Colt’s Manufacturing Company and a Canadian subsidiary, for the cash consideration and 1.099 million pieces of newly issued CZG stock.

The combination of the two gun makers creates a half billion dollar firearms manufacturing giant that will be approximately the same size as Ruger.

“With this strategic move, CZG will acquire significant production capacity in the United States and Canada and substantially expand its global customer base,” CZG said, adding Colt was a traditional supplier to military and law enforcement, a target customer group for the Czech group.

For those who are fans of the rampant pony, this should be seen as a positive move. While having an iconic American brand owned by a foreign firm may be jarring to some, CZ has a well-deserved reputation for producing excellent products and delivering good customer service.

Colt Delta Elite Two Tone (image courtesy JWT for thetruthaboutguns.com)
Colt Delta Elite Two Tone (image courtesy JWT for thetruthaboutguns.com)

Colt hasn’t been a healthy company for at least a decade. After losing its military contracts, it filed for bankruptcy protection in 2017. And while the return of quality versions of some of their much-loved snake guns to their product line has been a plus, the Colt lineup hasn’t been one that has wowed retail gun buyers in a very long time.

Colt King Cobra .357 revolver
Colt King Cobra (JWT for TTAG)

The CZ acquisition now ensures that the brand will continue under better, more innovative leadership that’s well-financed and seems determined to restore the Colt name to its former place of prominence in the minds of America’s gun buyers. It should be fun to watch how this develops.

Here’s Colt’s press release . . .

Česká zbrojovka Group SE to acquire Colt West Hartford, CT, February 12, 2021 – Colt Holding Company LLC (“Colt”) hereby announces that on February 11, 2021, it executed a definitive agreement to be acquired by CZG – Česká zbrojovka Group SE (“CZG” or “the Group”) Colt is the parent company of U.S. firearms manufacturer, Colt’s Manufacturing Company LLC as well as its Canadian subsidiary, Colt Canada Corporation.

Subject to the terms and conditions of the definitive agreement, CZG shall acquire a 100% stake in Colt for upfront cash consideration of $220 million and the issuance of 1,098,620 shares of newly issued CZG common stock. The agreement also provides for potential earnout consideration of up to 1,098,620 shares of newly issued CZG common stock if defined EBITDA thresholds are achieved in years 2021 – 2023.

Commenting on today’s announcement, Lubomír Kovařík, President and Chairman of CZG, said: “This merger 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. We are proud to include Colt, which has stood shoulder-to-shoulder with the U.S. Army for over 175 years, in our portfolio. We believe in the successful connection of our corporate cultures, the proven track record of the current management team and the complementary nature of the CZ and Colt brands. The combined group will have revenues in excess of USD 500 million and presents a real small arms powerhouse. The experience of CZ and Colt management will further strengthen both brands and ensure CZ and Colt continue to deliver top quality products and solutions to all our customers.”

Dennis Veilleux, President and CEO of Colt, agreed: “We are very pleased with the prospect of such a strategic combination. Having completed a historic turn-around of the operations and financial performance at Colt over the past five years, this important next step with CZG positions the company to take advantage of significant growth opportunities. We are excited to join forces with CZG which will be a powerful combination for both brands and for our customers.”

The acquisition is to be financed from CZG’s existing cash resources, including recent IPO proceeds, and from a contemplated bond issuance by CZG.

The transaction is subject to regulatory approval but is anticipated to close in the second quarter of 2021.

With this strategic move, CZG will acquire significant production capacity in the United States and Canada and substantially expand its global customer base. Colt is a traditional supplier to global military and law enforcement customers. Among others, Colt is a long-term supplier to the U.S. Army (which relationship dates back over 175 years) and, through its Canadian subsidiary, Colt is a designated exclusive supplier of small arms to the Canadian military.

46 COMMENTS

    • Hopefully they worked out some of the reliability issues on the new Python that were reported awhile back. Glad my family has a well rounded collection of Pythons and Diamondbacks from the 70s and 80s, including some Dick Specials. The craftsmanship and bluing back in those days were awesome. Nice knowing that they were from the original company. They’ve certainly appreciated in value over the years regardless of finish and barrel length. Good luck CZ!

    • I love CZ, they make great guns. Their country has always made great steel, had great mills, and made high quality guns. Even the CZ BRNO K98 WW2 mauser is considered among many the highest quality 98 mauser of the era. Even later, the VZ58 is a better version of the AK. So it’s obvious the czech preferred a little “better” than what was out there. That said, the thought of Colt owned by a Czech Republic company is a little disheartening.

    • Ah Boomer hate. For when you absolutely, positively need a target to blame for your own failures in life.

  1. Colt has been a 5h1thole, filled with thieves and con men for decades. This is nothing but good.

    How bad does management need to be to go bankrupt in the middle of a gun buying panic? Colt managed to do this. So I guess pretty bad.

  2. This is absolutely great news. Colt has been in trouble for decades. Maybe now they will finally move to a supportive state. CZ has good management and money to back it. My only worries are that they do not eliminate their snake guns and that they get rid of the preferred dealer buy in that limits who can actually sell Colt products.

    • Unfortunately, at this point the Colt mystique is synonymous only with the ability to f*** up everything they touch. These guys managed to turn designs by Knight, Stoner in and CZ into failures, that takes some talent.

  3. It’s kind of depressing that such a historic brand is worth $20 million less than a gun auction site. How the mighty have fallen.

  4. CZ is one of the true success stories of the industry parlaying products without patent protection due to their initial development in Communist Czechoslovakia into one of the solidest companies in the firearms business. They did this the hard way, by producing high quality products at remarkably low prices. I’m a fan and would have owned far fewer handguns in my time if I had discovered CZ first. They appear to be doing well rebranding and distributing high quality Hugulu shotguns that were hard to find prior to Hugulu’s partnership with CZ. They have been good stewards of the Dan Wesson brand gaining revolver manufacturing experience in the process and will likely do the same with Colt.

  5. Outside of the Dan Wesson line, there is no real overlap of products in this acquisition. Right now that is only the 1911-style of guns as CZ-USA isn’t making revolvers under the Dan Wesson line.

    Also, according to CZ themselves, they have more big plans as noted at the bottom of their “2021 New Products” page. Here’s the text:

    “Are you wondering what’s behind the significant changes in our range of hunting firearms? Well, you can count on some big news coming next year! But you’ll need to wait for the details.”

    Notice: large images to load in the following link…
    https://www.czub.cz/en/news/new-products-in-2021

  6. I have no skin in the game. No Cobra lust. I’ve been “into” guns for 10 years as an owner. Never heard anything good about Colt. Maybe I will now. Good luck CZ!

    • I’ve enjoyed my Colts, but they’ve almost exclusively been older revolvers. It’s cool that Colt will “paper” their classic collectibles for you, verifying authenticity, and telling you where it was originally distributed. It’s a pretty nifty service for older guns.

  7. I don’t like it when a foreign company buys an American gun maker. I remember very well when Smith and Wesson was purchased by a British guy. Who was anti-gun, and making gun control deals with the Clinton administration.

    Because of this back in the 1990s, there was a national boycott S & W products. And Gordon Liddy, the “G Man”, talked it up on his national radio show. The company nearly went bankrupt.

    • This is CZ we’re talking about. If anyone can fix Colt it’s them. They do have their work cut out for them though.
      I own an original “wonder-9” CZ-75 imported in 1990. Not the Bravo model or others that came after, and it s very well made. If CZ could get colt back to the 70 series quality control time frame and kick out the management that ran it into the ground I don’t mind a foreign group owning. Heck, most of what I own is not made in America.

      `just sayin

      • This kind of stuff make me nervous. I own a berretta 21a in 22 caliber. Its a great gun. A Great pocket carry gun. After reading about the CZ-75 I put it on my list of guns to buy. I’m glad you like yours.
        (smile)
        I’m just uncomfortable with non Americans owing American gun companies. And yes I know there are even American gun CEO’s who are anti second amendment.

    • CZ has been a better ally to the right to keep and bear arms than most American makers. They’ve actively called for repeal of the NFA and are a national icon of one of the few other countries to respect the RtKaBA.

    • The difference is S&W was bought by a British company that didn’t know guns, and were willing to roll over for the next gun regs.

      CZ is a totally different animal- they know guns- and respect the 2A, from all accounts.

      Colt was embarrassed by civilian sales for years, if not decades (why they shut down snubbies long ago) Glad to see gun guys in charge again.

  8. And I purchased 3 Sar9s Made in Turkey by a firearms manufacturer that has been around since the 1800s and got ridiculed by some mealy mouth hypocrite azzhats using their Made In China devices to denigrate me and the Sar9. Nice to see all the support for a company that can hopefully get the job done.

    • Since I am an American, I choose not to support the Muslim Brotherhood , so I boycott Turkish products. Just to be fair, I also boycott Israeli products.

  9. I hope CZ begins a program where they bring in ‘Old Country’ gun smiths from the Czech Republic and start a apprenticeship program to re-introduce some lost skills into the American workforce.

    It would be kinda cool to see a Colt-CZ mashup high-end revolver…

  10. Everyone is talking about revolvers, what about the Colt AR? Will CZ merge the best of the Bren with the AR and come up with something new?

  11. I’d like to see them bring back the Delta Gold Cup like I used to own… oh wait, now I remember…. after they replaced the cracking frame on it, it never ran right after I got it back. I should have kept it in the back of the safe after seeing recently what they are “worth”. Maybe Wesson could reengineer it, but it would probably complete with their current stuff. Oh well.

  12. I like CZ, just bought one of their all metal 9mm pistols this winter. They also have been building quality hunting rifles for decades. Colt has been nothing short of a disaster. CZ should be able to turn that around…

  13. Should’ve happened a long time ago.

    I’m afraid the base 1911 model will be gone now.

    I like it better than the Dan Wesson versions.

    May be good news for revolver options though.

    Maybe a real lightweight Cobra or Agent model.

    Time will tell.

    C’est la guerre.

  14. CZ has consistently supported the hunting/recreational/self-defense market, while Colt turned its back the non-military market more than once. As far as I’m concerned, CZ’s acquisition of Colt is a big plus.

    • We couldn’t buy Colt anything from national wholesale distributors without being a Colt dealer. Hopefully CZ nixes that foolish policy.

  15. Colt firearms have been built on outdated and end of useful life equipment for years. The slide to frame fit is very loose and really RIA produces a tighter gun. This is a shame a cheap Asian gun has better craftsmanship than a Colt, my grandfather who loved Colts would be in disbelief at this notion. Colt has no where to go but up. I own a couple of late model 1911’s and they shoot fine and the accuracy is WW2 level, but we now expect much better accuracy than that. RIA has shown us that even cheap 1911’s can shoot well. I do agree the parts in the Colt are probably better than the RIA but really it should be for twice the price.

  16. Interesting news.

    Though I can’t help but wonder if, in honor of this event, they might bring back the old “Colt Z-40″/ CZ-40B pistol, even if just in a limited run. It would certainly seem an apropos way to launch such a joining, though given how Colt screwed that design over the first time around, perhaps that’s a part of their history they’d prefer to forget.

  17. Well to me a Cz Colt would be like a Parker /Fox shotgun. It is but it aint. I would not expect them to sale the firearms at the high Colt price. Evidently they are.

  18. Being a Colt, Dan Wesson and CZ fan I hope this has a positive result for Colt. I have a pre-CZ Dan Wesson revolver and later talked to CZ about an additional barrel kit for it, which they were making at that time. It was a perfect match dimensionally and cosmetically except for the newer CZ script design. Even that still looks good. Install and fit were perfect. If they handle Colt like they have Dan Wesson it will be very good for customers.

  19. Love this news, outright. A great company like CZ buying Colt should make Ruger and S&W extreme nervous about the Revolver Market. CZ is doing so well in the Semiautomatic Pistol Market, being cutthroat competition to Glock, S&W, and Ruger in that regard to Market-Share.

    Considering that I have a couple of “Old-Era” Pythons, and many people out there do too, CZ will definitely have Repair Maintenance Services for them so many of us won’t have to worry about that timing issue nonsense not being rectifiable.

    To all of you Baby-Boomer and older Gen-X Gun Owners doing the Gun Owner Community a disservice by charging $4,000 to $5,000 for those old Pythons, no one is going to be paying those prices; So just stop with the BS.

    • To all of you Baby-Boomer and older Gen-X Gun Owners doing the Gun Owner Community a disservice by charging $4,000 to $5,000 for those old Pythons, no one is going to be paying those prices; So just stop with the BS.

      LMAO……you’re nuts if you really believe this

      Kinda like S&W model 19 prices tanking when S&W brought the new iteration of that revolver………not. if anything, prices went up ……

  20. CZ AR15????

    It is great that a gun company buys Colt and will expend production.

    I would buy more guns if there were one available that I want AND if there was ammo.

  21. Great news for guns and the workers of Colt; could have been bought by a Cerberus type private equity firm and had the life sucked out of it the way Remington was ruined.

  22. I would find it hard to believe that CZ is going to “change” what the Colt (gun) is. Dan Wesson is a good example. As comparing and competing with Smith and Ruger, CZ is competitive but not cut-throat. Plastic guns have all kinds of profit and they all compete seriously there. For all-steel and revolvers, Rugers gets the prices beat but keep in mind that Ruger is also one of the industry’s largest wholesale casting or forging companies. 220 Million may sound like chump change but you never hear what the assumed debt is – and if memory serves it is HUGE.

    I hope we do see the Colt AR’s again. Unless CZ decides to make Colt another Dan Wesson, you can probably expect to see some plastic guns, even if they end up being CZ clones because some people will just not buy a foreign name.

    As for RIA – give the Devil his due. Nothing wrong with an RIA but it is still not a Colt. If we want to compare fit, the look no further than Taurus 1911. Little known fact – all their 1911’s are hand fitted (key to the 1911), and their Stainless 5-inch will outrun everybody’s (except custom made, and Colt Match versions), right out of the box. Again, nothing wrong with RIA but when you get into the high-end versions of RIA you have Colt/Ruger/Smith cost in a Philiipino 1911

    Long live Colt (and the others) and Thank You CZ!

  23. well if colt had made enough weapons to cover the demand of the people wanting weapons and put a decent price on them maybe they would NOT have to be bought out you can not find a colt weapon no where and can not order one

  24. “Done Deal:” Not quite yet, do not call it done until it actually is. “The transaction is subject to regulatory approval but is anticipated to close in the second quarter of 2021.” There have been much larger deals shot down for minor tech issues. There are some asking questions about some of Colts intellectual property being purchased and presumably exported overseas.

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