Czech gunmaker set to ride Colt into new markets

It's a legendary name from the Wild West.

Colt guns were a part of so many stories.

The one that killed outlaw Billy the Kid recently sold at auction for $6 million.

But the company hasn't fared so well.

Back in 2015 it had to file for bankruptcy protection.

Now it's been taken over by Czech firm CZG.

And the new owners see it as a ticket to new markets.

Jan Drahota is CZG group chairman:

"Everybody knows Colt, everybody on the market knows Colt and everybody knows what happened to the brand over the last 15 to 20 years. And when we started to discuss the potential acquisition back in November 2020...we were very excited about it because we believe that there is many things to be done."

Colt will allow CZG to expand production and compete for U.S. military contracts, as it can now satisfy "Buy in America" rules.

It also gets more exposure to foreign military markets, including the UK and Canada.

As a result, the Czech firm aims to double it and Colt's combined revenue to around $1 billion within a few years.

That would put it on a par with another old name, Smith & Wesson.

CZG shares have surged 60% this year as investors welcomed the acquisition.

But some analysts say the revenue goal looks ambitious.

One told Reuters that hitting the target will require a significant expansion of production, and U.S. retail demand to stay strong.

Whatever happens though, a name from the history books looks set to write a few new chapters.

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