Swiss state-owned small arms producer sold to Italy

Ammotech says it generates two thirds of its sales in the civil sector. Keystone/Alessandro Della Bella

Switzerland’s state-owned Ruag International company has sold its small-caliber ammunition division to the Italian firearm manufacturer, Beretta.

This content was published on March 9, 2022 - 18:32

All the 2,700 employees of Ammotech in Switzerland and ten other countries, including Germany and Sweden, the United States and Britain, would be taken over by the new Italian owner, Ruag International saidExternal link on Wednesday.

The main Swiss production site in the town of Thun would be maintained for at least five years, Ruag International added.

The sale to Beretta doesn’t come as a surprise according to experts.

In 2018, the Swiss government decided to split into two separate companies as part of a divestment strategy.

The Ruag defence entity produces for the several armies and police forces, while the international business arm is active in aerospace engineering.

Ammotech says it generates two thirds of its sales in the civil sector.

The sale has prompted an outcry of the right-wing Swiss People’s Party. It criticised the sale as inacceptable as it undermined Switzerland’s security.

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