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U.S. gunmaker Remington exits bankruptcy in tough gun climate

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05/17/2018 | 07:37pm CEST
Remington shotguns are displayed during the annual National Rifle Association (NRA) convention in Dallas, Texas

(Reuters) - U.S. weapons manufacturer Remington Outdoor Co Inc said on Thursday it had emerged from Chapter 11 bankruptcy with less debt and more stable financing that may help it ride out a slowing market for firearms.

Remington, America's oldest gunmaker, filed for bankruptcy protection in March, weeks after a shooting at a high school in Parkland, Florida killed 17 people and triggered intensified campaigns for gun control by activists.

Under the reorganization plan, inked two days before the Feb. 14 Parkland shooting, creditors including JPMorgan Chase & Co and Franklin Advisors will take ownership stakes in the company in exchange for forgiving more than $775 million (£573.3 million) of debt.

Remington also received a $193 million new lending package funded by seven banks, including Bank of America Co.

"It is morning in Remington country," Chief Executive Anthony Acitelli said in a statement.

Investors in Cerberus Capital Management LP, the previous owner, had urged the private equity fund to sell Remington after its Bushmaster rifle was used in a school shooting in 2012 in Sandy Hook, Connecticut, in which 20 children died.

Remington has said its bankruptcy would not affect lawsuits against it, including one filed by the families of Sandy Hook victims. It is also appointing a new board of directors.

Remington's bankruptcy was partly triggered by a decline in gun sales as President Donald Trump's election eased firearm enthusiasts' worries about increased regulation.

Following the Parkland shooting, companies such as Delta Air Lines Inc, Dick's Sporting Goods Inc and Walmart Inc cut ties with gun-rights groups or restricted sales of weapons.

Bank of America has hinted that it may sell its participation in Remington's exit financing package.

"These companies have a real opportunity to solidify a brand that is in sync with what customers want now and in the future," said gun control advocate Igor Volsky. He called Parkland "a tipping point for Americans waking up and saying that guns are a real problem."

Distressed investors who normally view bankruptcies as an opportunity to obtain equity in a restructured company on the cheap largely stayed away from Remington.

"Because it filed for Chapter 11 just weeks after the tragic Parkland shooting, Remington became the hot potato that many investors did not want to touch," restructuring attorney Vincent Indelicato of Proskauer Rose said in an email.

(Reporting by Tracy Rucinski in Chicago; Editing by Bernadette Baum and Richard Chang)

By Tracy Rucinski

Stocks mentioned in the article
ChangeLast1st jan.
BANK OF AMERICA -1.97% 26.8277 Delayed Quote.-4.07%
DELTA AIR LINES -3.24% 52.48 Delayed Quote.-3.14%
DICKS SPORTING GOODS INC -0.72% 33.34 Delayed Quote.16.74%
JP MORGAN CHASE & COMPANY -1.73% 104.51 Delayed Quote.-0.54%
WAL-MART STORES -0.75% 96.43 Delayed Quote.-1.62%
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Financials ($)
Sales 2018 91 598 M
EBIT 2018 37 438 M
Net income 2018 26 197 M
Debt 2018 -
Yield 2018 1,97%
P/E ratio 2018 10,70
P/E ratio 2019 9,49
Capi. / Sales 2018 2,95x
Capi. / Sales 2019 2,84x
Capitalization 270 B
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Brian T. Moynihan Chairman, President & Chief Executive Officer
Catherine P. Bessant Co-COO & Chief Technology Officer
Thomas Kell Montag Co-Chief Operating Officer
Paul M. Donofrio Chief Financial Officer
Thomas J. May Independent Director
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