Guns, Private Equity and the Legacy of Newtown


Photo by Connecticut State Police via Getty Images

For 26 years, the billionaire Stephen Feinberg, 57, has run Cerberus Capital Management, his highly successful $30 billion private equity firm. He's made millions for investors by buying up companies, turbocharging their businesses and then spinning them off in public offerings. Yet when Feinberg dies, the first paragraph of his obituary will surely focus on something else: the fact that the assault rifle used to massacre 20 children and 6 adults in Newtown, Connecticut in 2012 was made by a Cerberus company.

QuickTake Guns in America

The gun was a Bushmaster XM-15, Bushmaster's entry in the fast-selling semi-automatic AR-15 category. Feinberg, a gun enthusiast, bought Bushmaster in 2006 for $76 million. It was his initial foray in the gun business. Over the next few years, Cerberus bought 12 more gun companies, the best known of which was Remington Arms Co. Inc., for which it paid $370 million in 2007.