Windham, ME, native Dick Dyke, owner of Bushmaster Firearms Inc. in North Windham, sold his 28-year-old gun manufacturing company on Apr. 13 for an undisclosed sum to an affiliate of Cerberus Capital Management LP.
Cerberus and its affiliated entities, headquartered in New York, manage funds and accounts with capital in excess of $18 billion. The new company will be called Bushmaster Firearms International, LLC and its primary operations will remain in Windham, ME, and Lake Havasu City, AZ.
Dyke, 72, will remain involved in the business as a member of the board of directors, according to Maine newspapers.
Dyke said he sold Bushmaster, which did $65 million in business last year, for the good of the company, his family and the stockholders.
“Bushmaster has the potential of becoming a $200-million-a-year company. For the Dyke family to lead that, a little voice told me that it was just time to turn over the reins for the benefit of everyone,” Dyke said, according to state newspapers. “I just know a company like Cerberus has the ability to do the things Dick Dyke doesn’t have the means to do.”
The new owners say they are dedicated to keeping Bushmaster and its 95 employees at the Windham Business Park. Dyke said he owns the park, and Bushmaster has signed a five-year lease for the property.
The company news release said that the change of ownership was “another important step in the growth of Bushmaster Firearms.”
“We will continue our 28-year history of commitment to providing high quality, affordable firearms, parts and accessories for the consumer market, law enforcement, the military and international customers,” said John DeSantis, who will continue as the CEO of the new company. Richard Thurston and Allen Faraday will continue in their current roles as senior executives of Bushmaster, and Chad Brooks will be joining Bushmaster as chief operating officer.
Cerberus is not new to the weapons scene, the Maine media reported. The company has many contacts in the military logistics field. However, this is Cerberus’ first foray into firearms. It already supplies military bases and provides logistical support for the military.