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AR-15 rifle

Cerberus Capital Management to sell Freedom Group stake

Private investment firm Cerberus Capital Management is to sell its stake in Freedom Group, the manufacturer of the AR-15 rifle used in the attack at a primary school in Newtown, Connecticut last week that left 20 children and seven adults dead.

Affiliates of Cerberus made their investment in Freedom Group back in 2006, but the firm has bowed to pressure to sell from several large institutional investors, including the California State Teachers’ Retirement System (CalSTRS).

In a statement Cerberus said that the “tragedy was a watershed event” and that while it was not the firm’s role to “attempt to shape or influence the gun control policy debate” there were actions it could take.

“Accordingly, we have determined to immediately engage in a formal process to sell our investment in Freedom Group,” says the statement. “We will retain a financial advisor to design and execute a process to sell our interests in Freedom Group, and we will then return that capital to our investors. We believe that this decision allows us to meet our obligations to the investors whose interests we are entrusted to protect without being drawn into the national debate that is more properly pursued by those with the formal charter and public responsibility to do so.

“Our thoughts and prayers are with the families and communities impacted by this tragic and devastating event.”

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