Redundancies at Remington, Sackings at Savage

dithers_fires_dagwoodLayoffs are in the news this week, with skilled workers getting the boot for reasons of both politics and business.

105-150 jobs cut at Remington in Ilion, New York, as the company relocates from the hostile ground of Cuomostan to more congenial climes. Hat tip Bob Owens, who says:

We’re not just seeing gun rights and gun jobs lost as a result of Governor Andrew Cuomo’s spiteful NY SAFE Act. We’re seeing the destruction of American history, and the slow death of a small town, all in the drunken pursuit of political power.

Well, what do you expect? “Elections have consequences,” one of the most gifted politicians i history is reported to have said. Syracuse.com reports that the AR lines (notably Bushmaster) and 1911 pistol are moving to Huntsville because they are threatened by Cuomo’s Orwellian-labeled SAFE Act

Politics don’t seem to be the main driver in another 95 redundancies at Savage in Westfield, MA, or 25 further layoffs in an Ontario, Canada facility. Savage does not make guns threatened by most states’ legislation, even New York’s, but its home state of Massachusetts has passed a new law that makes the required permit for a long gun (or BB gun) a may-issue license, depending on the whims of police. The real driver of the layoffs, though, is Savage’s purchase by Alliant Techsystems (ATK).

Savage has a long, and turbulent, history, according to MassLive.com:

ATK’s $315-million purchase of the Savage Sports Corp. went through in July 2013. The Savage Arms Co. was first organized in 1894 by Arthur Savage in Utica, N.Y. In 1920, the company bought Stevens Arms of Chicopee.

From the 1960s through the 1980s, the company was passed from owner to owner, including a stint as part of Black & Decker. Savage declared bankruptcy in 1988 when it was losing $25 million a year.

Ronald Coburn took over that year and brought Savage out of bankruptcy by cutting costs and focusing on bolt-action rifles, an area of the firearms business in which Savage developed a specialty.

In 1995, Coburn and his investors bought Savage and its subsidiaries for $33 million.

Coburn retired in February 2013 just as the sale to ATK was announced.

ATK plans to spin off all its sporting-goods suppliers into one firm, Vista Outdoor, keeping the defense industry suppliers in the original firm. ATK will remain, and Vista will become, publicly held firms. Those plans are proceeding, and now ATK plans, once it has shed Vista, to merge with Orbital Sciences Corporation. The details of the ATK-Vista-Orbital agreement are found in this SEC filing, which we don’t think has been linked elsewhere in the gun press.

The precise terms of the agreement get quite complicated, as you might expect would happen in a break-up and followup merger of such large firms.