Dec 18 (Reuters) - U.S. private equity firm Cerberus Capital
Management said on Tuesday it will immediately begin selling its
investment in gunmaker Freedom Group in light of last week's
school shooting in Connecticut.
Cerberus acquired Bushmaster in 2006 and later merged it
with other gun companies to create Freedom Group, which reported
net sales of $677.3 million for the nine months ending September
2012, up from $564.6 million in the same period a year ago.
Bushmaster is the manufacturer of the AR 15 rifle used by
the shooter in the Newtown killings that claimed 27 lives,
including 20 school children.
"We do not believe that Freedom Group or any single company
or individual can prevent senseless violence or the illegal use
or procurement of firearms and ammunition," Cerberus said in a
The private equity firm said it will retain a financial
adviser to sell its interests in Freedom Group, and will then
return that capital to investors.
Pressure mounted on Cerberus as the California State
Teachers' Retirement System (CalSTRS) said on Monday it was
reviewing its investment with the private equity firm in light
of the Connecticut school shooting.