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Teacher Pension Funds Pressure Cerberus Into Selling Gun Company

New York (HedgeCo.Net) – $20 billion private equity and hedge fund firm, Cerberus Capital Management, has decided to sell all stakes in Freedom Group, a US gun maker that made the AR-15 rifle used in the recent Sandy Hook tragedy.

“It is not our role to take positions, or attempt to shape or influence the gun control policy debate.” Cereberus said in a press release late Tuesday, “There are, however, actions that we as a firm can take.  Accordingly, we have determined to immediately engage in a formal process to sell our investment in Freedom Group.”

The Guardian reports:  “The company’s semi-automatic rifles have been used in at least four high-profile mass shootings since 1999, including a 2009 incident that left 10 dead across southern Alabama, and a 2010 shooting spree in Virginia that killed eight people over 19 hours.”

The NYT says:  “The move by Cerberus is a rare instance of a Wall Street firm bending to concerns about an investment’s societal impact rather than a profit-at-all-costs ethos. Public pension funds like the California one — officially, the California State Teachers’ Retirement System, or Calstrs — have hundreds of billions of dollars in private equity and hedge fund investments.”

“It is apparent that the Sandy Hook tragedy was a watershed event that has raised the national debate on gun control to an unprecedented level.” Cerberus added. “The debate essentially focuses on the balance between public safety and the scope of the Constitutional rights under the Second Amendment.”

Alex Akesson
Editor for HedgeCo.net
alex@hedgeco.net
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