The company whose AR-15 type Bushmaster rifle was used in the Newtown school massacre in Connecticut will be immediately put up for sale, its private equity owner Cerberus Capital Management LP said on Tuesday in response to investor concerns.
The secretive private equity firm risked the ire of investors, which include some of the largest U.S. public pension funds, after its investment in Freedom Group Inc, owner of Bushmaster Firearms International that makes the rifle, came under public scrutiny.
The pressure on Cerberus to sell the firearms maker comes as it seeks up to $3.5 billion from investors for its latest buyout fund.
Late on Monday, California Treasurer Bill Lockyer asked CalPERS and CalSTRS, the state’s public pension funds and the largest in the United States, to account for their investments in gun manufacturers, and proposed that they sell their interest in any company that makes guns that are illegal under California’s assault weapons ban.
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