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GUNMAKER COLT'S FILES FOR CHAPTER 11

The gunmaker Colt's Manufacturing Co., rescued two years ago with the help of state pension funds, filed for federal bankruptcy court protection Thursday.

The company said in a statement it filed for protection from its creditors under Chapter 11 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code after failing to make sufficient progress in restructuring its finances.The filing came a day after Anthony D. Autorino disclosed he had resigned as chairman and chief executive officer earlier this month.

Two years ago, Autorino helped bring together a coalition that included the state pension fund, striking workers, outside investors and Colt managers to buy the company from New York-based Colt Industries.

The buyout ended one of the longest and most bitter strikes in state history and made workers part owners of the newly independent company. Hartford-based Colt's has about 925 employees, about 680 of them represented by the union.

Gov. Lowell P. Weicker Jr. said Thursday the Connecticut development authority had voted to make a $2 million loan guarantee to Colt's to keep the company operating during reorganization.

The $2 million loan guarantee is part of a $10 million package of state and private funding, he said.