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Gun manufacturer buys injection molder

By: Frank Antosiewicz

March 25, 2014

Firearms maker Smith & Wesson Holding Corp. is taking steps to better control its supply chain with the purchase of Tri Town Precision Plastics Inc., an injection molder in Deep River, Conn.

Springfield, Mass.-based Smith & Wesson said it has reached an agreement for its new subsidiary, Deep River Plastics LLC, to buy the net assets of Tri Town for about $23 million. The deal is scheduled to close in May.

James Debney, president and CEO of Smith & Wesson, said the acquisition will enhance his company’s new product development process.

“Polymer injection molding represents a significant element of our production process. Acquiring this capability allows us to vertically integrate a key component of our manufacturing operations with increased flexibility and is expected to thereby lower our production costs and reduce risk within our supply chain,” he said in a news release.

Tri Town was established by Scott Goodspeed in 1982. It operates 45 injection molding machines at its 95,000-square-foot facility. The company, which also offers tooling capabilities, has about 250 employees.

Goodspeed will not staying with the company, but other Tri Town management will remain, according to Liz Sharp, Smith & Wesson vice president. She said Tri Town has been a long-time Smith & Wesson supplier, and that the objective is to continue that arrangement.

Tri Town provides polymer frames and components for many of Smith & Wesson firearms, including its popular military and police models. About two-thirds of its sales come from Smith & Wesson. It also does work for the medical, industrial, aerospace, communications, automotive and defense industries.

Smith & Wesson, a publicly traded company, expects the acquisition will be accretive to its earnings in fiscal 2015, and that it expects a payback on its investment in four to five years.

Smith & Wesson designs and manufactures firearms and related products, as well as providing training, for global military, law enforcement and consumer markets. It has about 1,500 employees, with facilities in Springfield and Houlton, Maine.