WSJ: Remington owners to put group up for auction, could take months

By WKTV News

ILION, N.Y. - It could be months before we learn the new owners of Remington Arms and several other firearms manufacturers as the financial group that owns the arms works to put their firearms interests up for auction.

According to the Wall Street Journal, Cerberus Capital Management is in discussions with investment bank Lazard about running an auction for Freedom Group, the gun manufacturer the buyout firm decided to sell in the wake of last week's school shooting in Newtown, Connecticut. Remington is one of the gun manufacturers within the Freedom Group, owned by Cerberus.

Lazard hasn't been hired yet and Cerberus could end up picking another bank to auction the gun maker, the Journal reports, adding that Cerberus could finalize hiring a bank to sell Freedom Group in the coming days. The newspaper states that while it isn't assured Lazard will end up advising Cerberus on Freedom Group's sale, the bank is a likely choice,because Cerberus has a close relationship with the investment bank.

Frank "Terry" Savage, a top banker at Lazard, is close to Cerberus chief executive Stephen Feinberg and sits on Freedom Group's board.

In addition, Cerberus could also hire a larger bank, alongside Lazard, to help market the gun manufacturer, one of the people said, though the private equity firm hasn't made any decisions.

In any event, an auction could go on for months, the Journal reports, as potential buyers await possible new gun control measures.

President Barack Obama this week appointed vice president Joseph Biden to head a task force to make recommendations for combating gun violence across the US, vowing to take action to try and prevent future shootings such as the one at the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown in which a gunman killed 20 young children there and six adults.

The gunman used an assault rifle made by Bushmaster, a company owned by Freedom Group.

Cerberus decided to put the gun manufacturer on the block amid a burgeoning gun control debate.

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