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  1. #311
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    December 8, 2016

    Rating Action: Moody's changes Heckler & Koch GmbH's outlook to positive from negative - Moody's

    Frankfurt am Main, December 08, 2016 -- Moody's Investors Service, ("Moody's") has today changed the outlook on Heckler & Koch GmbH (Heckler & Koch or HK) to positive from negative. Concurrently, Moody's has affirmed the Caa3 Corporate Family Rating (CFR), Caa3-PD Probability of Default Rating (PDR) and Caa3 rating on Heckler & Koch's €295 million senior secured notes due 2018.

    RATINGS RATIONALE

    Today's rating action reflects improvements in Heckler & Koch's underlying liquidity due to a strengthening in the company's operating performance -- Moody's adjusted EBITDA grew to €35million YTD Q3-16 from €27million YTD Q3-15 - as well as more effective working capital management due to more optimum inventory levels. Maintaining sufficient levels of liquidity over the medium-term is, however, dependent on the successful refinancing of Heckler & Koch's €30million RCF (unrated), due to expire in June 2017. For there to be further positive rating action we would expect confirmation that the RCF has been refinanced or extended beyond the maturity of the bond.

    Assuming the successful refinancing of Heckler & Koch's RCF we expect liquidity to remain in excess of €35 million (cash + RCF) over the next 12-18 months. This represents a substantial improvement from the low of €8.3 million back on 30 June 2014 (H1-14). In the context of HK's size and operating model, we believe this provides the company with greater headroom to sustain unexpected earning fluctuations and working capital movements, as well as secure bank guarantees for future orders and maintain its competitive position. Aside from the refinancing of the RCF, the company's ability to generate positive FCF on a sustainable basis in view of the company's past weak performance remains a further short-term liquidity risk.

    Heckler & Koch will also have to refinance the net €220 million outstanding notes, which are due to mature in May 2018. We still see risks associated with a successful refinancing of the notes given the current market environment. However, we believe Heckler & Koch's recent efforts to make its operating and capital structure more sustainable over the medium-term are positive steps in this regard. We positively view the company's clearer, more prudent business strategy, as well as proactive steps to materially reduce leverage to around 6.3x as at end-2016 (negative EBITDA in 2015) through opportunistic bond purchases.

    In particular, we expect EBITDA to stabilize at around €45million, a level we forecast for 2016 owing to HK's strategy to focus on sales to "green customers" namely those in Europe or NATO countries and NATO-Allies (in Q3-16 these represented 97% of sales up from 88% Q3-15). This should improve the quality of the company's order intake and should support a more predictable revenue & profitability level. Lower interest costs as a result of reduced debt levels should further support cash flows and it is positive that the courts have ruled in favour of HK regarding warranty claims by the German Ministry of Defense following allegations about the accuracy of the G36 assault rifle. It was previously uncertain whether the company would have to face material and unexpected cash outflows.

    RATING OUTLOOK

    The positive outlook on HK's rating reflects improvements in operating performance, internal cash generation and a strategy, which will support a more stable development of key credit metrics. In Moody's view this increases the chances that the company will be able to successfully refinance its outstanding notes and extend its existing €30 million RCF.

    WHAT COULD CHANGE THE RATING UP/DOWN

    Further positive rating action would be considered upon stronger evidence of Heckler & Koch ensuring the long-term refinancing of upcoming debt maturities well ahead of time, namely the €30 million RCF expiring in June 2017 and the outstanding €220 million senior secured bond maturing in May 2018 with the former having a strong bearing on our assessment of the group's short term liquidity profile. Notwithstanding this any positive rating action would also assume continued positive performance including positive cash generation further solidifying the improved liquidity situation. We understand that the company is already looking at options to allow a timely refinancing of both facilities.

    Moody's could downgrade HK's rating if the company fails to obtain long-term refinancing and eroding liquidity leading to Heckler & Koch not meeting its payment obligations.

    LIQUIDITY

    As at 30 September 2016 total liquidity was around €59.7 million, reflecting unrestricted cash of around €29.7 million and its undrawn €30 million RCF but this was prior to the c.€10.5 million interest paid on 15 November 2016 in respect of HK's €220 million was outstanding notes and further opportunistic bond repurchases in Q4-16 of around €18 million. As at 23 of November 2016 the company had an unrestricted cash balance of around €16 million.

    Link: https://www.moodys.com/research/Mood...1208_PR_359219

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    HK's Bond (due May 2018) is trading above par, which means its trading for a premuim so investors wanting a higher yield (9.5%) will pay more for it. It finished 2016 slightly above par (100.84) and as of 1/1/2017 it was priced at 101.60.

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    Appears that my dividends will increase!!!

    Tony

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    HK Germany PR Press Release

    Released: January 3, 2017

    HK433: Heckler & Koch's fourth assault rifle family sets new standards

    Countless ideas, decades of know-how and sophisticated solutions tested and proven under the most rigorous conditions worldwide are the foundation of Heckler & Koch's pioneering weapon technologies. Ever since this traditional German company based in the Suebian town of Oberndorf was established in 1949, its value-added share has been 100 percent. High-Tech Made in Germany!

    Heckler & Koch GmbH Financial Statements-hk433.jpg


    HK433. The new assault rifle from Heckler & Koch

    In addition to the worldwide tried and proven rifle families G36, HK416 and HK417, the HK433 has now been added to the product portfolio of the company as the fourth scalable assault rifle family. This completely new development emphasizes once again Heckler & Koch's claim to build the world's best assault rifles. By supplying France (HK416AIF), Germany (G36), USA (US Marine Corps M27/HK416), United Kingdom (SA80), Norway (HK416), Spain (G36) and Lithuania (G36) with standard assault rifle weaponry, Heckler & Koch has become a global weapon outfitter of many armies and armed forces of the NATO. Many special forces of the Western World — including the US Special Forces, the “Kommando Spezialräfte (KSK)” of the German Armed Forces, and special governmental forces (for example, GSG9) — rely on assault rifles from Oberndorf.

    The HK433 is a modular assault rifle with a basic caliber of 5.56 x 45 mm, which combines the strengths and excellent characteristics of the G36 and HK416 assault rifles. Further calibers such as the 7.62 mm NATO (HK231), .300 Blackoout and 7.62 mm x 39 Kalashnikov (HK123) are included in the concept and thus form the basis of a weapons family. The HK433 was developed to meet the ever more complex challenges of asymmetric conflicts within the broad operational spectrum of infantry and specialized armed forces. The HK433 gives these forces full operability and operational safety. This is true under all climatic conditions and combat situations and combat intensities with intuitive handling, combined with maximum modularity, precision and weapon safety.

    The HK433 is an indirect impingement short-stroke gas piston system with a locked form-optimized rotating bolt. The upper receiver made of high-strength aluminum has a continuous precise NATO-STANAG 4694 sight rail. At maximum length and low sight height, any commercially available sight units and night vision sights can be mounted. In addition to that, the receiver has a built-in maintenance-free round counter. The weapons data can be transmitted and archived wireless. The integrated G36 bolt guide of the upper receiver guarantees a constantly high functional safety and reliability of the weapon. The bolt design is based on that of the G36, except that it is equipped with a firing pin safety and self-lubricating sliding elements.

    The lateral closely fitting, stationary charging handle can be converted without tools and can thus be operated from both sides. Moreover, it has an integrated forward assistance to chamber a cartridge silently. Whilst firing, the charging handle remains in its position. On the one hand, this increases the safety of the shooter in stressful situations and, on the other, it provides him with unrestricted holding and firing options. The ergonomically optimum positioning of the charging handle allows you to keep the weapon in the target while cocking the weapon.

    The HK433 gives the shooter six different barrel length options, allowing him to adjust the weapon to the particular operational need. To this end, Heckler & Koch is offering barrel lengths of 11", 12.5", 14.5", 16.5", 18.9" and 20". All barrels can be replaced at the operators or maintenance level.

    The barrels are cold forged, tempered and hard-chrome plated on the inside. The service life of the Heckler & Koch weapon barrels, which is already setting new standards, has once again been clearly increased through further optimization measures. As standard, the barrels are equipped with a further-developed and tool less adjustable gas port for sound suppressor operation and an interface for the 40 mm grenade launcher HK269 and the GLM/GLMA1. A front sight interface and bayonet holder can be mounted on the barrels as an option.

    The Slim Line handguard developed by Heckler & Koch is positive-locking and connected to the upper receiver free of backlash. It can be removed without a tool and offers carrying sling fixing points, modular HKey interfaces on 3 and 9 o'clock as well as a continuous MIL-STD-1913 Picatinny rail on 6 o'clock.

    The replaceable lower receiver defines the desired operating concept, thus reducing the training expenses for the shooter. Depending on the shooting training, the shooter can choose between a G36 and an HK416/AR-15 operating concept. All operating elements are attached on both sides, arranged symmetrically and can be customized. "Drop-in" solutions of the lower receiver extend the range of functions of the weapon with respect to match triggers or trigger assembly combinations. The magazine well according to NATO STANAG 4179 (draft) ensures inter-operability of the G36 weapon systems with the HK conversion magazine well, the HK416, and the commercially available AR-15 platforms. The grip interface is designed similar to the HK416 weapons family. Due to pistol grips with exchangeable grip shells and back straps similar to the P30 and SFP/VP series the rifle provides maximum adaptability to different hand sizes.

    The ergonomically foldable and length-adjustable buttstock with height-adjustable cheek rest is free of backlash and connected to the receiver. The length adjustment has five locking positions, allowing it to be adjusted dynamically to the personal protective gear of the operator. Straight, convex or concave buttstock caps provide the necessary comfort of the weapon in the firing position. Moreover, the buttstock can be folded to the right in each locking position. This achieves extremely compact transport dimensions.

    Even though, the trigger always remains freely accessible. The case ejection port is not covered, ensuring the ability of function also in an emergency in the transport condition.

    Apart from maximum reliability, H&K weapons also excel with their standard-setting safety standard. Thus, it goes without saying that the HK433 is equipped with barrel obstruction capability, drop safety (NATO AC225/D14), allows cocking in all safety positions and has a high "cook-off" as well as a robust and insensitive design when becoming dirty, at extremely cold and hot temperatures or in the event of lack of oxygen.

    Camouflage colors and infrared-absorbing coatings are available upon request.

    Special material combinations and surface finishes round off the overall concept of the HK433. They provide a low-maintenance system under extreme conditions in combination with a high service life above average.

    The weight of the pure weapon of the HK433 at a barrel length of 16.5" is approx. 3.5 kg.

    Heckler & Koch :: Detail
    Last edited by Oicani; 03-01-2017 at 06:47 PM.

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    HK-USA PR Press Release

    Released: January 12, 2017

    Heckler & Koch to Expand in Columbus, Georgia

    COLUMBUS, GA – Heckler & Koch, a manufacturer of firearms and accessories, will invest $28.5 million to expand its existing operations in Columbus, Georgia. The new 50,000 square-foot facility in the Corporate Ridge Business Park will be ready in the summer of 2017 at which time HK will consolidate its New Hampshire operations into Columbus.

    HK worked closely with the Georgia Department of Economic Development, the Greater Columbus Georgia Chamber of Commerce and the Development Authority of Columbus prior to making the decision that is expected to create 84 new jobs over the next 2 years.

    “HK’s new U.S. factory will make use of advanced manufacturing technologies and will be staffed by German and American engineers and technicians,” said Francisco Hidalgo, CEO of HKUSA. “The HK products will maintain the same level of quality and reliability that the consumer has grown to expect from HK. Our company motto is and will remain ‘No Compromise’.”

    “Georgia’s pro-business environment and well-connected logistics network allows manufacturing companies to thrive in our state,” said Georgia Department of Economic Development Commissioner Pat Wilson. “Heckler & Koch’s decision to expand its existing operations corroborates our efforts to not only attract companies to Georgia, but to also retain them and support their growth. We look forward to working with our partners in Columbus to support HK in all of their endeavors.”

    “One of our main priorities is to assist existing companies to achieve success,” said Brian Anderson, president & CEO of the Greater Columbus Georgia Chamber of Commerce. “By taking time to understand HK’s business, our team was able to provide the company access to valuable resources and guidance that will keep them firmly planted in the Columbus region.

    “HK has been a company that has quietly excelled in Columbus for many years and we are certainly excited about their investment and plans to hire more people,” said Russ Carreker, chairman of the Development Authority of Columbus. “Columbus is a great place to achieve business success and we’re grateful HK chose to grow its business here.”

    Heckler & Koch to Expand in Columbus, Georgia - Heckler & Koch
    Last edited by Oicani; 03-01-2017 at 06:21 PM.

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    2015 ATF Manufactures Report Summary
    6,955 - HECKLER & KOCH INC
    44,232 - FN AMERICA, LLC
    146,474 - Colt's Manufacturing Co LLC
    216,616 - GLOCK INC
    497,218 - SIG SAUER INC

    Past Years Manufacturing Numbers for HK
    2014 - 10,583
    2013 - 22,683
    2012 - 5,711
    2011 - 6,926
    2010 - 724
    2009 - 5,846
    2008 - 1,100
    2007 - N/A

    https://www.atf.gov/resource-center/data-statistics
    Last edited by Oicani; 03-01-2017 at 06:49 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Oicani View Post
    2015 ATF Manufactures Report Summary
    6,955 - HECKLER & KOCH INC
    44,232 - FN AMERICA, LLC
    146,474 - Colt's Manufacturing Co LLC
    216,616 - GLOCK INC
    497,218 - SIG SAUER INC

    Past Years Manufacturing Numbers for HK
    2014 - 10,583
    2013 - 22,683
    2012 - 5,711
    2011 - 6,926
    2010 - 724
    2009 - 5,846
    2008 - 1,100
    2007 - N/A

    https://www.atf.gov/resource-center/data-statistics
    Now that is interesting, especially the fact that production went to below 50% in 2014 and then almost to 1/4 in 2015 from the record year of 2013.

  9. #318
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    SIG has done well for themselves since moving everything to the US.
    Hope HK's new plant here doesn't mean that quality is going to go down hill like it did at SIG.
    Maybe HK will hire Ron Cohen?

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    I remember reading about Ron Cohen over on the SIG forum. I would banish the thought because I believe HK knows better than to even take a phone call from him.

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    Press Release

    Released: July 6, 2017

    H&K AG: Equity Increase

    H&K AG (“Heckler & Koch”), the parent company of the Heckler & Koch Group, announces the proposal for a share capital increase in H&K AG which is expected to provide Heckler & Koch with no less than € 50 million new equity funds. This share capital increase, the resolution for which is scheduled to be taken during the next ordinary shareholder meeting in mid August 2017, will be a combined share capital increase comprising an increase in kind and an increase in cash. Currently Heckler & Koch expects to issue appr. 6.6 million of new shares during this transaction.

    A major shareholder of Heckler & Koch has undertaken to provide funds in the amount of € 50 million for the capital increase, and will support the company’s efforts to refinance its 2011 9.50% Senior Secured Notes at a significantly lower debt level than currently. These funds will be provided initially in the form of a shareholder loan to be converted into share capital during the share capital increase to meet the time line of the refinancing of the 2011 9.50% Senior Secured Notes. Minority shareholders of H&K will have the possibility to subscribe for new shares on a pro-rata-basis and on the same economic terms against payment in cash.

    By way of this share capital increase in the amount of € 50 million minimum, Heckler & Koch is able to reduce its financial debt to a maximum of € 170 million.

    Bottom Line: Parent Company (AG) is adding €50 million into HK so it can refinancing their bond due May 15, 2018 with increasing shares and (hopefully) at lower interest rate in addition to. This should reduce their current 295,000,000 Euro bond to 170,000,000 Euros. Overall this is positive news.
    Last edited by Oicani; 07-17-2017 at 05:41 PM.

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