Hedge Funds Owned Gun Stakes In Q3

Dec 18 2012 | 11:57am ET

While Cerberus Capital Management may "dominate the gun industry," as former New York Gov. Eliot Spitzer put it, it isn't alone among alternative investment firms that own stakes in gunmakers.

Cerberus said today it would sell Freedom Group, the firearms giant it created five years ago, in the wake of last week's tragic shootings at a Connecticut elementary school that killed 27, including 20 children and the shooter. Two other large publicly-traded gunmakers, Smith & Wesson and Sturm, Ruger & Co., also feature alts. firms among their owners, Business Insider reports.

Renaissance Technologies appears to be the biggest hedge fund investor in firearms manufacture, with a 5.12% stake in Smith & Wesson and a 4.44% stake in Sturm Ruger as of the third quarter. It is unclear whether the East Setauket, N.Y.-based firm or any other hedge fund investors in the companies have since sold those positions.

Route One Investment Co. also has big stakes in both companies, owning 1.87% of Smith & Wesson and 0.87% of Sturm Ruger. Tiger Global Management took a new 4.18% position in the former in the third quarter, and while Valinor Management cut its Sturm Ruger holdings by about one-fifth during the period, it still owned a 1.17% stake. James Investment Research owned 4.27% of Sturm Ruger, and South Point Capital Advisors 3.48%. Millennium Management owned 0.93% of Smith & Wesson.

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