Global Digital Solutions Inc. said in a March 11 filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission that it submitted a $1.08 billion proposal to buy gun maker Freedom Group Inc. from Cerberus Capital Management.
Global Digital's offer price is eight times Ebitda, estimated to be about $237.5 million, minus long-term indebtedness of an estimated $818 million. The company says it submitted a previous proposal on Jan. 27, but that offer expired on Feb. 17. Global Digital also revealed in the filing that it is in the process of acquiring two other unnamed companies, one that supplies military and law enforcement equipment, and another that provides technology and development services to several industries, including the military industry.
West Palm Beach, Fla.-based Global Digital revealed in a March 11 8-K filing with the SEC that it has not yet received a response to the second Freedom Group proposal, but that it intends to keep trying to enter discussions. Global Digital is working to reposition itself as a company that provides arms safety in commercial and military-related markets.
Freedom Group, headquartered in Madison, N.C., owns Bushmaster Firearms International, maker of the AR 15 rifle, one of the guns used in the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in Newtown, Conn. on Dec. 14, 2012.
Cerberus announced on December 18, 2012 that it would sell its interests in Freedom Group. Rumors swirled in April that Cerberus founder Stephen Feinberg, in connection with other Cerberus partners, were planning a bid for the company.
After the Sandy Hook shooting, pension plans looked to exit investments in weapons makers, prompting Cerberus and other firms to reconsider their holdings. In May 2013, private equity firm Norwest Equity Partners sold gun maker Caliber Co. to ATK (NYSE: ATK) for $315 million.