The Remington Screw Job: An Opinion
When a company goes through a Chapter 11 bankruptcy and break-up, I can tell you who is getting screwed: pretty much everybody. The process is far from over: the Remington Outdoor Company, Inc. (20-81688) docket continues. Employees are screwed, vendors are screwed, customers get screwed. Essentially everyone that worked for Remington, sold to Remington, or bought from Remington got screwed. The former majority owners of Remington were banks and never wanted to be in the firearms business at all: they were former holders of debt that did not seek ownership: they inherited their ownership stakes. That is not a good recipe for success. It was September 29, 2020 when the federal judge approved the sales of the largest portions of Remington's assets.
Former paintball pro player Richmond Italia of Canada has been called the new owner of Remington, and also called the managing partner of Roundhill Group. What he actually is today, no one seems to know. (WUTR-TV) — “Richmond Italia is the new owner of the Remington Arms plant in Ilion.” In the WUTR-TV interview of October 21, Richmond Italia made some strange comments. “We’re not talking, we’re not shutting down for six months,” said Italia. “We’re talking weeks to a maximum a couple of months. Maximum.”
Obviously, those comments were both ridiculous and bizarre. Roundhill Group can make nothing, they have no firearms manufacturing license, no employees, no engineers, no marketing, no website, no customer service, and no orders. It takes 3-4 months to get a firearms manufacturing license alone, so those comments were supremely stupid. Not only that, they do not even own the Remington brand or trademarks: those are now owned by Vista Outdoor.
It gets worse. Richmond Italia was the CEO of G.I. Sportz, called the largest paintball company in the world. While Richmond Italia's “Roundhill” bought Remington firearms, it was only a couple of weeks later that G. I. Sports filed for bankruptcy, https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2020-10-16/paintball-empire-enters-canadian-receivership-u-s-bankruptcy . You can't make this up. Italia and friends buy Remington for $13 million, but a couple of weeks later the “Paintball Empire” goes belly-up with “no ability to repay” the $29 million it owes under a credit agreement. A lot of folks were screwed to the tune of $29 million by G.I. Sportz and affiliates.
The last Remington CEO was Ken D'Arcy. Ken D’Arcy took over from Richmond at GI. Apparently, that didn't work out so paintball CEO D'Arcy left GI and became CEO of Remington. Italia became CEO at G. I. Sportz again, pondering drug distribution by using paintball equipment. Richmond Italia: “Yes, it's true, I have made some recent investments in a few pharmaceutical companies and seeing as they've legalised cannabis in Canada, part of the new business will be encapsulating CBD and THC pills. And all this is done on the same machine that make paintballs …. it's a pretty nice fit if you think about it.”
I'll leave it to those closer to the Remington Screw Job to connect all the dots. The biggest asset Remington ever had was its talent. Long time Remington engineers, customer service, product managers, and marketing folks bled green blood. They did the very best they could while constrained by incompetent, decisionally-challenged owners that didn't want to be owners in the first place. Those folks have all been forced to go elsewhere to pay the bills and put food on the table.
Thanks to the former owners, Remington has been unable to fill orders for over the last year. All the while, Remington has continually lost market share and shelf space. Law enforcement across the nation that has long relied on 870s and Model 700s has been forced to use other, available products. Months later, there is no website for Remington firearms, nor is there so much as a phone number.
short version is banks who didn't want anything to do with the
firearms business at all end up owning a majority interest in
Remington. A paintball CEO is hired by the banks, part of a revolving
door of Remington CEO's. Banks decide not to pay their bills, leaving
Remington short on raw materials. Remington fails to fund several new
product launches. Orders for tens of thousands of shotguns and rifles
go unfilled, with no raw materials to complete them with. Remington
managers and employees, that have no say in the matter, do the very
best they can. The troubled paint ball company that the Remington CEO
came from reverts to its prior CEO, Richmond Italia. Richmond Italia
and associates buy Remington firearms at auction for $13 million
after giving the matter about ten days of thought. After the purchase
of Remington, the paintball company promptly declares bankruptcy,
shafting people to the tune of $29 million.
Just what could possibly be wrong?
Copyright 2020 by Randy Wakeman. All Rights Reserved.