Czechoslovak Group Responds to Concerns Over Ammo Company Acquisitions

by Braxton Taylor

Vista Outdoor’s definitive agreement to sell The Kinetic Group of companies—Federal Ammunition, Remington Ammunition, Speer, CCI, Alliant Powder, Estate Cartridge and Hevi•Shot—to the Czechoslovak Group (CSG) for $1.91 billion is proceeding, although concerns the famed manufacturers were being acquired by a foreign corporation became the subject in Congress’s Homeland Security Committee late last month. During that meeting, Rep. Clay Higgins (R-LA) asked Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen to exercise caution in reviewing the acquisition, noting the combined firms account for roughly 70 percent of primer production in the free world.

On March 28 Vista Outdoor announced it had voluntarily withdrawn and re-filed its joint voluntary notice to the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS). The move, and the committee’s acceptance, allows members additional time to conduct due diligence on the proposed sale by opening a new review period.

On April 9 CSG issued a press release reassuring enthusiasts, and legislators, “We are a significant supplier to NATO and Ukraine and have no ties to Russia, China or other U.S. adversaries. CSG is among the top providers of artillery ammunition for NATO and recently announced that we intend to invest several hundred million dollars more in our ongoing efforts to bolster Ukraine’s defense capabilities by expanding our supply of artillery ammunition, tanks and artillery systems to the country. Several of our companies hold top NATO security clearances and we work with U.S. defense companies. This would not be possible if we had ties to U.S. adversaries such as Russia or China.”

As for concerns the famed manufacturers’ operations would be moved overseas it explained, “We have demonstrated our commitment to manufacturing in the U.S. Through our ownership of Fiocchi Munizioni, we already have a U.S. presence, with production facilities in Little Rock, AR, and Ozark, MO. In fact, we are currently considering expanding our U.S. production capacity. Any claim that CSG has eliminated U.S. jobs is completely wrong.”

“We are committed to supporting the regulatory review process and remain confident we will receive all necessary approvals for the Acquisition,” the press release stated. “In December of 2023, the required waiting period under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act of 1976 expired, meaning the Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) has cleared the Acquisition from an antitrust perspective. On March 28, Vista Outdoor and CSG announced that we had voluntarily withdrawn and re-filed our joint voluntary notice to the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (“CFIUS”) to allow CFIUS additional time to conduct diligence on the proposed Acquisition. Working alongside Vista Outdoor, we are actively engaged in the process and believe we will secure all required approvals. It’s important to note that we successfully went through CFIUS screening when we acquired Fiocchi of America and its Arkansas and Missouri facilities in 2022.”

In October 2023 CSG entered into a definitive agreement with Vista Outdoor to acquire its the Kinetic Group of companies.

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