One of America’s largest gun manufacturers, Remington Outdoor Co Inc, has filed for bankruptcy protection to carry out a debt-cutting deal with creditors amid mounting public pressure for greater gun control.
The company listed assets in the range of $US500 million ($647m) to $US1 billion and liabilities in the range of $US500 million to $US1 billion in Sunday’s filing.
Remington, America’s oldest gun maker and creator of the flintlock rifles, announced the deal in February to reduce its $US950 million debt in a deal that will transfer control of the company to creditors.
The filing comes after a February 14 shooting at a Parkland, Florida high school that killed 17 and spurred an intense campaign for gun control by activists.
The massacre inspired hundreds of thousands of young Americans to lead huge US anti-gun rallies on Saturday.
In some of the biggest US youth demonstrations for decades, protesters called on lawmakers and President Donald Trump to confront the issue. Voter registration activists fanned out in the crowds, signing up thousands of the nation’s newest voters.
Major US companies and retailers have taken some steps to restrict firearm sales.
Citigroup Inc said last week it will require new retail-sector clients to sell firearms only to customers who passed background checks and to bar sales of high-capacity magazines.
Citi also said it was restricting sales for buyers aged under 21, a move adopted by other large retailers, while Kroger Co’s superstore chain Fred Meyer said it will stop selling firearms entirely.
Cerberus Capital Management LP, the private equity firm that controls Remington, will lose ownership in the bankruptcy.
Remington’s creditors, which sources told Reuters include Franklin Templeton Investments and JPMorgan Asset Management, will exchange their debt holdings for Remington equity.
The creditors inked the debt-cutting deal prior to the Parkland shooting, and it is unclear if any have exited. The restructuring support agreement allows creditors to sell their holdings, but the buyer is bound by the deal.