Smith & Wesson and Walther have begun to part ways. According to information released by S&W in an earnings conference call on June 28, 2012, it is pretty clear why the split is coming: sales and margins.
But the split is not a complete parting of ways. In fact, 2/3 of the current agreements between the two companies will remain in place.
According to James Debney, President and CEO of Smith & Wesson Holding Corp., there are three separate agreements between Smith & Wesson and Walther:
- S&W is the exclusive distributor of German-made Walther firearms,
- S&W manufactures and distributes Walther PPK pistols made in Houlden, ME, and
- Walther manufactures S&W M&P 22 pistols in Germany.
Of these, only one is ending in 2013: Smith & Wesson’s importation and distribution of German-made Walther guns. That contract will expire on April 30, 2013. The other two contracts will remain in place, and will be valid for two more years. Future negotiations could extend those agreements.