War profiteer of the month: CBC Global Ammunition and subsidiaries
CBC Global Ammunition is a holding company which owns a number of subsidaries around the world, specialising in ammunition for portable weapons. The subsidiaries included: Companhia Brasileira de Cartuchos (CBC), or “Brazilian Cartridge Company”, a Brazilian company and one of the world’s biggest manufacturers of ammunition; Czech company Sellier & Bellot; MEN in Germany; and Magtech, based in Minnesota in the USA. The members of the CBC group produce a wide range of ammunition for the military, law enforcement, sport shooting and hunting, and claims a “presence in more than 130 countries”, producing over 1.7 billion rounds of ammunition a year. The companies making up CBC Global Ammunition are supply NATO, and is the largest privately-owned supplier of .50mm ammunition. The various companies collectively employ 3,500 people across its headquarters and three factories in Brazil, two factories in Europe, and one in the USA.
CBC Global Ammunition was formed in April 2018 following a company restructuring. Before 2018, MEN, Magtech and Sellier & Bellot were owned by CBC.
The various companies regularly exhibit at arms fairs around the world, including DSEI in London, CSTM and LAAD in Brazil, Eurosatory in France, IDET in Czech Republic, Enforce Tac (an international trade fair for command, control and operational equipment used by security agencies), Germany and IDEX, UAE.
Companhia Brasileira de Cartuchos
The original CBC, this company was formed in 1926 and is based in São Paulo, Brazil with two production facilities in Rio Grande do Sul. CBC now appears to have two arms, with CBC Defense specialising in ammunition for military use including NATO, while CBC also offers ammunition for sports shooting, hunting, private security and law enforcement use, as well as the military.
CBC Defense manufactures a wide range of ammunition for military use, including pistols, rifles, submachine guns, sniper rifles, as well as specialised ammunition for piercing armour, training, suppressed weapons and “tracer” bullets for use with night vision goggles at night. CNC Defense also produces 20mm, 30mm and 40mm “medium calibre” ammunition for use in various mounted cannons and turrets – including the M61 rotary cannon, KAA-AAB cannons, and grenade launchers such as the Heckler and Koch GMG 40mm grenade launcher.
Metallwerk Elisenhütte Nassaum or MEN, is a German company founded in 1957, with the original purpose of providing the newly formed Bundeswehr with ammunition – it now supplies the police in Canada, Norway and Switzerland, militaries across Europe, and the armies of Japan and Singapore. The company now employs around 300 people, and was acquired by CBC in 2007 when MEN was facing serious financial concerns. The company recorded sales of €72.7 million in 2016.
In 2010, the company was accused by its own executives of breaking the War Weapons Control Act by transferring technology to its new parent company in Brazil, with CBC executives travelling to Germany to study technical drawings and compare data. The company denied the charges, saying they “only supply the good guys”, though the company supplies to a wide-range of countries around the world, including Libya.
Journalists in Germany have criticsed for being happy for local media to report positive news about the company, but otherwise of “muzzling” employees, telling them not to share information with journalists. of not sharing information of the relationship between Magtech and its Brazilian parent company beyond a small circle within the company.
Sellier & Bellot
Sellier & Bellot was founded in 1825 and continues to be based in Vlašim, Czech Republic. It has been owned by CBC since 2009 and produces ammunition for a wide-range of purposes; from hunting to law enforcement to the military.
Magtech was established in 1990 and is based in Minnesota, USA. Magtech distributes ammunition manufactured in Brazil by CBC, and markets to the US civilian market, police and military.