January 1998

Walloon Closes FN Herstal Acquisition

The Walloon regional government has closed its deal to buy FN Herstal, the financially-troubled small arms manufacturing company that had been on the market for several months, from French-owned defense conglomerate Giat Industries.

Union employees at FN’s Liege, Belgium plant voted by a 54 percent margin to accept the deal, although it will likely mean fewer hours per week for them. The regional government, which owned 8 percent of FN, vetoed Giat’s planned sale of the unit to Colt’s Manufacturing Company because it feared a loss of jobs. The region paid approximately $82 million for the FN operation, the same price that was offered by Colt’s.

Few sources can say for certain what the...

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