Yes, you read that right.
Remington Arms Company is preparing to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy for the second time since 2018 and is in advanced talks with the Navajo Nation as a potential buyer, The Wall Street Journal reported on Friday.
Remington is one of America’s oldest gun companies, but it has faced legal and financial trouble in recent years.
The company was able to cut $775 million in debt through its 2018 bankruptcy, but it has continued to face high-interest costs and “operational issues,” according to The Journal’s sources who are “familiar with the matter.”
Remington is also embroiled in a lawsuit brought by the families of victims of the Sandy Hook massacre. The Connecticut Supreme Court ruled last year that the suit could move forward based on Remington’s advertising practices, and the U.S. Supreme Court declined to review the decision.
A potential buyer would be able to purchase Remington free from legal liabilities, people familiar with the matter told The Journal.
Remington declined to comment on the bankruptcy settlement when reached by GunsAmerica.
Remington was acquired in 2018 by Franklin Resources Inc. and JPMorgan Chase (among others) when Cerberus Capital Management LP, and its subsidiary, Freedom Group, transferred ownership during a Chapter 11 bankruptcy deal.
At that time, the Navajo Nation was rumored to be in talks to acquire the gun company, but a formal deal was never offered, according to Navajo Times. Then-Navajo President Russell Begaye accused Council Speaker LoRenzo Bates of going behind his back to cut a deal with Remington.
This year, the negotiations are similarly secretive. The Navajo Times reports that the tribe’s Budget and Finance Committee is considering a piece of legislation that approves a $300 million investment in an unnamed company, stating the deal is under a non-disclosure agreement.
The current Navajo president, Jonathan Nez, believes the deal’s approval process should have been more public.
“The Remington proposal was first discussed among the Navajo Nation leaders a couple years ago and was done behind the scenes,” said Nez. “The Navajo public had legitimate concerns that they were not being made aware of the discussion and the transparency was lacking. Once again, the Navajo people demand that the committees who are discussing this proposal do so openly, and not in executive session, because it is the Navajo people’s money.”
The Navajo Nation already owns a set of business enterprises in industries including energy, transportation, and utilities. They did not respond to The Journal’s request for comment, and there’s no word what they would do with the company if they acquired it.