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Colt's seeks an end to Chapter 11, introduces new .22.

Hartford, Ct.-based Colt's Manufacturing Co. President Ron Whitaker is extremely optimistic that the company will soon be finished with its Chapter 11 reorganization plan. There are five interests involved in the plan - the State of Connecticut, the Austrian bank Creditanstalt-Bankverein (a secured creditor), the unsecured creditors, the United Auto Workers union, and the company itself

"Among the five, only the State has the credibility among all the interests,"

Whitaker said. "Fortunately, the state is taking control and progress is starting. If all goes well a plan could be in place within weeks. The promise is we could be coming out of Chapter 11 by mid-fall."

Like most manufacturers, business has been good this year. During the first quarter of 1992, Colt's logged a loss of $4.5 lion. For the rest of the year, however, the company recorded earnings of $1 million. In 1993, the company made that much in June alone.

Colt's is presently saddled with double overhead, maintaining separate manufacturing plants in Hartford and West Hartford, but the consolidation into the West Hartford plant has begun. It should be completed by the end of the year, eliminating the extra overhead costs. The recent contract for the Army's M-4 rifles will be fulfilled in the West Hartford facility.

A sure sign of optimism is that the bank agreed to pay for the consolidation. In a bankruptcy case, a bank would normally seek to increase liquidation value rather than investing in more efficient operation. In the field of new products, Colt's has announced they will unveil a new .22 auto pistol at the 1994 Shot Show. The new pistol will be called the Colt stainless steel barrel will be ribbed and 4 1/2 in length. The Colt Cadet will be a single action semi-auto, and the magazine capacity will be 11 rounds. The sights will be fixed and it will feature a rubber grip.

The most extraordinary feature about the new Colt Cadet will be its suggested retail price because Colt representatives told Shooting Industry the target price is $200 suggested retail. They want this pistol to cater to the entry level shooter, and they don't want the pricing to stand in the way. When asked if the new rimfire would be completely manufactured in West Hartford, the representative's only response was the gun "would be assembled in West Hartford."
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Title Annotation:Colt's Manufacturing Company Inc.
Author:Clede, Bill; James, Frank
Publication:Shooting Industry
Date:Sep 1, 1993
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