On Sunday, Colt Defense LLC announced it is filing for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy protection and looking to sell operations, or portions of operations, in the U.S. and Canada to pay off $355 million in debts.
In November 2014 Breitbart News reported that Colt was then in trouble and could face default by year’s end. They made it through the year, but would not give any comment on their finances when approached by Breitbart News at the 2015 SHOT Show in Las Vegas.
According to The Wall Street Journal, Colt barely survived last year by “[borrowing] $70 million from Morgan Stanley… to pay interest on its bonds, and in February it warned it might not have enough cash to make an interest payment by a June 15, 2015, deadline.”
Colt has faced opposition from its bond holders who do not want to agree to any deals that “slash the amount of money” the gun maker owes them.
Colt began making firearms in the 19th century and boasts two of the most iconic guns of American history: the Colt revolver and the Colt 1911. The company also made a strong name for itself with the M4 — a fully automatic military rifle on the AR-15 platform.
In 2013, Colt lost the contract to supply the Army with the M4.
Those looking from the outside in have speculated that Colt depended on its military contracts and failed to keep up with the times regarding the civilian market.
For example, CNN Money notes that the burgeoning popularity of concealed carry has made “compact and light handguns” the craze in America. But Colt has not exactly been the tip of the spear for compact and light. Instead, they have watched concealed carriers move to Glock and other manufacturers.
As a result, Colt’s de jure loss of military contracts was compounded by a de facto loss of civilian interest.
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