Breaking: LWRC is up for Sale?
Jon Stokes 02.19.14
This past December there were rumors on AR15.com about a possible sale of LWRC to Colt. Apparently, any questions about a possible LWRC sale that were posted on the LWRC board were deleted by the mods within minutes, and in general there’s a sense that something’s up.
Now we can add more fuel to the fire with some new revelations. Recent inquiries from AllOutoor to LWRC regarding possible advertising and T&E rifles were met with some pretty bizarre responses, which stated that the company is currently prohibited from entering into any “contracts, obligations, or expenditures.”
Having sold a company myself before, I know exactly what the above means: it means that LWRC is almost certainly in the final stages of talks with a buyer.
I circled back and asked for confirmation and received a “we can neither confirm nor deny” message. So yeah, I’m thinking that it’s on like Donkey Kong.
Other than the Colt rumor above, we don’t really have any leads on who the buyer might be. Strategic Armory Corps could be the buyer, or Remington, or pretty much anyone. Right now, there’s some consolidation and shuffling around in the industry, so the pool of possible buyers is quite large.
As for the timing, it looks like they’re expecting to be done sometime in late April, which means (given that M&A takes way longer than anyone thinks it will) that I’d expect official confirmation in the third or fourth quarter.
It makes plenty of sense that LWRC would be on the block right now, given that they just scored a huge contract with the Saudis to provide rifles in 6.8 SPC. And if the LWRC rep that I talked to at SHOT Show is correct, and the word is out that the U.S. military is taking a serious look at 6.8 SPC as a possible 5.56 replacement, then LWRC would be anybody’s number one pick to snap up and go after that business.
In other words, with LWRC’s new contracts and strong product line, there’s plenty of “lipstick on the pig,” as the bankers say, which makes it a perfect time to put the company on the block.
Of course, there could be other strange things afoot at LWRC besides a sale that explain the rumors and emails, but I seriously doubt it. This smells like a sale to me. Maybe I’m wrong, but I don’t think so.