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Rhode Island votes to divest from gun distributor owned via private equity funds

Rhode Island State Investment Commission voted unanimously to begin the process of divesting from gun distributor United Sporting Cos., confirmed Joy Fox, spokeswoman for state Treasurer Gina Raimondo, who oversees the commission.

Currently, the investment commission has a $20 million commitment to Wellspring Capital Partners IV, which invests in the gun distributor. The investment commission, which invests on behalf of the $7.4 billion Rhode Island Employees’ Retirement System, Providence, voted Oct. 23 to pursue a secondary sale of Rhode Island’s stake in Wellspring’s fund.

Cliffwater, the investment commission’s consultant, will seek pricing for the sale.

Additionally, the commission voted to allow Cliffwater and the state treasury’s investment division to begin a process to remove the shares in Summit Partners’ gun distributor holdings from the pension investment portfolio. Rhode Island has $20 million invested in Summit, which in turn has about $2 million invested in United Sporting.