The Freedom Group is a privately owned holding company which specialises in firearms. Owned by Cerberus Capital Management (CCM) the Group contains some of the worlds largest brands of firearms, including Remington Arms (the Groups de-facto leading member), Marlin Firearms amd Bushmaster.
The Freedom Group came into existance in 2007, when Remington Arms (whom would purchase Marlin Firearms in 2008) were bought by Cerberus Capital Management (a private equity firm). The addition of Remington Arms (and its associated groups) to CCM's previous purchase Bushmaster Firearms, April 2006, and later acquisition of DPMS Panther Arms prompted CCM to create the Freedom Group.
2008 onwards had seen a general expansion of the companies under the Freedom Group banner following investment in them from CCM. As mentioned earlier, Remington Arms purchased Marlin Firearms in January 2008 while Remington's subsidiary company, Remington Military, obtained silencer producer Advanced Armament Corporation. This added to Bushmaster's purchase (following pressure from CCM) of Cobb Manufacturing (a producer of large calibre tactical rifles) in April 2007, bringing more companies under the Freedom Group banner.
In December 2012, however, the Freedom Group came into jeopardy (or atleast potential jeopardy). Following the Sandy Hook Elementry School shooting on the 8th of December 2012, CCM came under pressure from the California state pension board (which has a stake in CCM), whose state laws prohibit the sale of the firearm that was used in the shooting (a Bushmaster AR-15). From that December, CCM began the process of divesting its investments in the Group. This process is ongoing.
The Freedom Group consists of no less than 15 individual companies, although most of them are off-shoots of other companies within the Group. The leading member, Remington Arms (the US's oldest privately owned firearm manufacturer) itself owns various subsidary companies, as well as Marlin Firearms and H&R Firearms.
The full list includes:
- Advanced Armament Corporation
- Barnes Bullets
- Bushmaster Firearms International
- Dakota Arms
- DPMS Panther Arms
- H&R Firearms
- Marlin Firearms
- Mountain Khakis
- Para USA
- Parker Gunmakers
- Remington Arms
- Remington LE
- Remington Military
- Remington PMPD
Following the announcement of CCM's divestment of its investments in December 2012 it seems unlikely that this list, and indeed the Freedom Group itself, will grow in the near future.
The Freedom Group has, under its banner, 14 firearms manufacturing plants and facilities, with over 3,000 employee's between them. As the Freedom Group is made of a large number of companies the Group's influence and market is spread over 80 countries across the globe and, largely due to the ownership of Remington Arms, has nearly 200 years of firearm development and experiance to draw on.
In terms of value the Freedom Group in 2009 had a total revenue of $848million, with a Net income of $24million which has meant that the Freedom Group is within the top five producers of firearms in the US (along with Colt, Smith & Wesson and Ruger). The investment of CCM in the Freedom Group's members has also improved their financial performances, with Remington Arms finally becoming profitable in 2008 (following years of losses prior to CCM's purchase of it in 2007).