Troubled shooting and outdoor retailer D. J. Litt’s, which went into administration in May with debts of tens of millions of pounds, was this week bought by the Exeter-based Sportsman Gun Centre.

D. J. Litt’s operated a firearms and accessories import and export business, together with a major mail order business, a shooting and outdoors store in Newport and the Treetops shooting ground in South Wales. The company also ran a gunroom at the Royal Berkshire Shooting School (RBSS). Litt’s was a key supplier of Perazzi, Browning and Beretta shotguns in the UK.

In 2004 and 2005, speculation of a merger between Litt’s and the Sportsman Gun Centre was rife, though it never came to fruition. In recent weeks, the company’s administrators received four serious offers for the business, with Sportsman eventually emerging with the preferred deal.

John Batley, director of the Gun Trade Association, told Shooting Times that news of the purchase struck a positive note: “We are delighted that the name of Litt’s is not disappearing, as it has been a very considerable player in the industry for the past 20 or 30 years. Obviously its demise will have repercussions in the trade, but it’s good to see that someone in the trade has sufficient confidence in the name to want to continue with such a long-standing business and we wish them well.”

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