Current Weather
The Spy FM

Investment Firm Selling Stakes In Gun Makers

Filed by KOSU News in US News.
December 18, 2012

The issue of gun control appears to have moved into business and finance. One of the largest private equity companies in the country is terminating its relationship with a firearms corporation associated with one of the weapons used in the Newtown school shooting.

Private equity firm, Cerberus, issued a statement today saying last Friday’s school massacre is ‘a watershed event’ and it wants to avoid being drawn into the national debate over gun control. So, it’s selling off its investments in Freedom Group, a firm that it acquired in 2006.

Freedom Group declares it’s “the world’s leading innovator, designer, manufacturer and marketer of firearms, ammunition and related products for the hunting, shooting sports, law enforcement and military markets”. Its website lists products from Remington to Barnes Bullets to Bushmaster weapons. Police say shooter Adam Lanza used a Bushmaster AR-15 rifle to kill most of the children, teachers and staff at Sandy Hook Elementary School last Friday.

Why is Cerberus acting so quickly? It may be more than the mood of the country. It could be pressure from the second biggest pension fund in the country: the California State Teachers’ Retirement System. Reuters says CalSTRS, as it’s known, is looking over its Cerberus investments. According to the CalSTRS website, it’s invested $751.4 million dollars in Cerberus as of March 31, 2012.

Cerberus’ statement says its company is made up of investors, not policy makers, and its job is to make the best decisions for these investors, who include firemen, teachers, police officers, unions and others. “It’s not our role to take positions, or attempt to shape or influence the gun control policy debate. That is the job of our federal and state legislators.”

Cerberus isn’t the only company that could experience pressure. California Treasurer Bill Lockyer is asking the teachers’ pension and the California Public Employees’ Retirement System how much they’ve invested in gun manufacturers. He’s on the board of directors of both pension funds, and he wants them to divest their stakes in such companies, according to Bloomberg News.

In related news, Dick’s Sporting Goods is suspending sales of modern sporting rifles in all its stores around the country. They’ve also cut off gun sales in its store closest to Newtown and banned their display. [Copyright 2012 National Public Radio]

Leave a Reply

9AM to 10AM The Takeaway

The Takeaway

A fresh alternative in morning news, "The Takeaway" provides a breadth and depth of world, national and regional news coverage that is unprecedented in public media.

Listen Live Now!

10AM to 11PM On Point

On Point

On Point unites distinct and provocative voices with passionate discussion as it confronts the stories that are at the center of what is important in the world today. Leaving no perspective unchallenged, On Point digs past the surface and into the core of a subject, exposing each of its real world implications.

View the program guide!

11AM to 12PM The Story

The Story

The Story with Dick Gordon brings the news home through first-person accounts. The live weekday program is passionate, personal, immediate and relevant to listeners, focusing on the news where it changes our lives, causes us to stop and rethink, inspires us.

View the program guide!

Upcoming Events in your area (Submit your event today!)

Streaming audio and podcasts

Stream KOSU on your smartphone

Phone Streaming

SmartPhone listening options on this page are intended for many iPhones, Blackberries, etc. with low-cost software applications available to listen to our full-time web streams, both News on KOSU-1 and Classical on KOSU-2.

Learn more about our complete range of streaming services

We're perfecting the patient experience - Stillwater Medical Center