12/22/2012

Men in a mines

To puncture a iron,

Men in a mills

To forge a steel,

Men during machines

To spin a barrel,

Mold a trigger,

Shape a wheel-

It takes a lot of organisation to make a gun…

One gun …

I suspicion of those lyrics progressing this week when we review that Cerberus Capital Management, a private equity organisation run by a sly banker Steven Feinberg, was going to sell Freedom Group, a multi-coloured collection of gun and ammunition firms it had collected together underneath one powerful company.

Since 2006, it has paid around $158 million to acquire 15 companies, according to an research by Andrew Silton, who writes a blog Meditations on Money Management. Although many gun manufacturers are small, Freedom Group now employs a lot of people to make guns — over 3,000. Until final Friday, when Adam Lanza slaughtered 20 children and 6 teachers during Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn. — using, among other weapons, a Bushmaster semiautomatic purloin done by Freedom Group — it proudly called itself a world’s largest manufacturer of guns and ammunition. Now, Cerberus and Feinberg are perplexing to clean a blood off their hands.

It’s a small late for that. Go demeanour during some of a Web sites of Freedom Group’s companies. The Bushmaster home page, for example, shows an Adaptive Combat Rifle, an attack purloin that looks like something out of an Arnold Schwarzenegger movie. Did we know, by a way, that one of the guns used by James Holmes when he allegedly killed 12 people and bleeding 58 in a mass sharpened in Aurora, Colo., was a Remington pump-action shotgun? Freedom Group creates those, too.

One reason Cerberus gave for wanting to sell Freedom Group is that, with a Newtown shootings carrying “raised a inhabitant discuss on gun control to an rare level,” it didn’t trust a purpose was to “attempt to figure or change a gun control process debate.” This is finish nonsense. Freedom Group’s arch executive, George Kollitides, has run for a house of a National Rifle Association and serves on several N.R.A. committees. The N.R.A. has described Cerberus executives as “strong supporters of a Second Amendment.”

My theory is that what unequivocally bothers Feinberg is all a bad press. After Cerberus bought Chrysler in 2007 — not to worry: It got many of a income behind from a taxpayers when a supervision bailed out Chrysler a following year — Feinberg told a organisation of Wall Street investors that he roughly didn’t do a deal. “We knew it would get an violent volume of press, and, boy, we don’t like that,” he said. Daniel Roth, who managed to get into a event for Wired Magazine, also quoted him as saying that if anyone from Cerberus gets his design in a paper “we will do some-more than glow that person. We will kill him.” It substantially seemed humorous during a time.

Robert Farago, who writes about a firearm business on his blog, The Truth About Guns, told me that Cerberus has never been bashful about “using a extract in Washington.” Dan Quayle, a former clamp president, and John Snow, a former Treasury secretary, are both Cerberus executives.

Farago also told me that Cerberus has been a terrible valet of Freedom Group. It has shuttered factories and laid-off employees, in a name of efficiency. Its executives are called “the Borg” by others in a attention — a anxiety to a pseudo-race of cyborgs in the Star Trek series. Its guns are deliberate shoddily done and full of problems. In one barbarous case, Bushmaster had to recall a Adaptive Combat Rifle since a trigger infrequently got stuck. The gun kept sharpened even after a shooter took his finger off a trigger.

Not that it’s mattered. Since President Obama’s choosing in 2008, gun sales have usually risen, that has helped Freedom Group’s bottom line. Although Cerberus had to cancel a open offering for Freedom Group in 2011, it doesn’t indeed need an I.P.O. to come out ahead. According to Silton, it has already pulled out $248 million, scarcely $100 million some-more than it paid for a companies it bought. Even if it gives Freedom Group divided for nothing, it will still have done a profit.

Not that that’s likely. The gossip is that Taurus, a Brazilian association with an American presence, is expected to make a bid for Freedom Group. The company, clever in handguns, would use a merger to accelerate a “long gun” portfolio. (Representatives for Taurus, Cerberus and Freedom Group did not respond to inquiries.)

The unhappy law is, we can always find a lot of people to make guns. And we can always find people like Feinberg, usually too happy to distinction from a assault guns can do.

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