British gun maker Manroy has announced a new expansion costing £750,000 to enable it to make rifles to fill an order from an unnamed ‘existing customer’. According to the Scotsman, almost half of this expansion would be funded from an existing shareholder, Caledonian Holdings, in the form of a loan. The loan would be paid back by year end from the sale of weapons. Apparently the expansion and manufacture will take place at a facility at Slade Green, Kent, rather than the Manroy facility at Beckley, East Sussex.
The company does not publicly identify its customers, (other than UK MOD) and British law appears to permit it to maintain secrecy, even though the sale of weapons has serious public policy implications for Britain. Manroy attempted to sell military hardware to the Qadaffi regime in Libya, until the Arab Spring caused the UK government to withdraw support from the Libyan dictator, who was subsequently deposed and assassinated.
Manroy states that it only sells weapons to countries approved by the UK government, but its growth strategy was hurt by the Arab Spring, which caused the UK government to shorten the list of Middle Eastern and African countries to which it would approve arms exports.
The owners of Manroy have been seeking a buyer for the company. It appears that only talks with Belgian company Herstal remain active.