RSBC Investment Group acquires Steyr Arms

In a significant move within the global defense industry, the Czech investment group RSBC, led by Robert Schönfeld, has acquired Austria-based firearms manufacturer STEYR ARMS. The transaction, finalized on April 23, 2024, places STEYR ARMS entirely under the ownership of RSBC, which purchased the company from its previous owner, SMH Holding GmbH. The financial terms of the deal have not been disclosed.

Founded in 1864, STEYR ARMS is recognized for its long-standing tradition in firearm manufacturing, with a substantial presence in the markets for military and police firearms, as well as hunting rifles. Employing over 200 staff across its operations in Austria and the USA, the company reported a turnover exceeding EUR 45 million in 2023. Its flagship product, the Steyr AUG, is extensively used across more than two dozen national armies and numerous special police units globally.

The acquisition comes as part of RSBC’s strategy to bolster its footprint in the defense sector. Previously in 2017, RSBC expanded its defense portfolio by acquiring Slovenian arms producer AREX. With the addition of STEYR ARMS, RSBC plans to form a new holding company that will spearhead the strategic development of both companies under the leadership of Tim Castagne, the current CEO of AREX.

Robert Schönfeld, founder of RSBC, expressed confidence in the acquisition, stating, "STEYR ARMS has an excellent reputation and tradition in the world. It stands for trust and quality. Its products are among the best in the hunting, civilian, and defense sectors. We firmly believe that the range, resources, and deep expertise of RSBC will contribute to the successful growth of STEYR ARMS."

Milan Šlapák, CEO of RSBC Group, also highlighted the significance of this acquisition, describing it as a "once-in-a-generation opportunity" to advance the legacy of a major player in the long guns sector for military and law enforcement.

The new partnership is expected to drive innovation and growth for STEYR ARMS by leveraging synergies in product portfolios, research and development capabilities, and strengthened sales and service channels.

This strategic acquisition signals RSBC’s commitment to expanding its influence in the defense industry, aligning with its broader investment strategy aimed at securing long-term value and tapping into unique market opportunities. As STEYR ARMS integrates into RSBC’s portfolio, industry observers will be closely watching the potential enhancements to its product offerings and market strategies under this new ownership.