FGI’s Para Asset Purchase: A Distinction Without a Difference?

A final email from Kerby Smith, Para’s former director of communications, indicating that after the FGI purchase, Para is “no longer active.”

Ladies and Gentlemen of the Press,
In case you did not see this press release on the sale of the assets of PARA USA, Inc. today, I have attached it.

The company that I worked for is no longer active and I am no longer employed. For any information regarding any T&E samples you may have out it is my understanding that those assets were acquired by FGI and you will need to contact them in regards to them.

I assume that this e-mail will be shut down soon.

It has been a great pleasure working with you for PARA USA, Inc.

Best regards,
Kerby

comments

  1. avatar Tyler Kee says:

    Wow. That wasn’t a depressing read this morning or anything.

  2. avatar DrewR55 says:

    What the hell?! Granted, I’ve never owned a Para pistol but this isn’t right.

  3. avatar Moonshine7102 says:

    Here’s hoping TTAG doesn’t get sold out to FGI.

    1. avatar Robert Farago says:

      No worries mate.

      1. avatar Moonshine7102 says:

        Cold, dead internet connection, brother.

  4. avatar Chris Dumm says:

    Scientists have announced the discovery of The Eater: a supermassive agglomeration at the center of the galaxy, capturing and destroying everything in its gravitational field.

    Shooters have witnessed the same phenomenon, as The Freedom Group has captured and disintegrated many of the (former) stars of the American firearms industry.

  5. avatar Jason says:

    Wow! Don’t burn your bridges or anything. . . .

  6. avatar LLArms says:

    Why would the owner of a company sell off knowing its going to lay off his workers?

    Oh yea, simple – cause money makes the world go round. What a shame.

  7. avatar RKflorida says:

    I find the comments the owners make when starting up versus the comments they make when selling out interesting. They start with blathering about their ideals and quality, and made in America, craftsmanship, a sense of belonging to the shooting community, etc. etc. Then 5 or so years later they dump the entire business and don’t even do it decently. Dump their employees, customers, and reputation, for the big bucks. So all their high sounding rhetoric is so much B.S. and they are shown to be liars. Nothing wrong with business and making money, but don’t toot the lying horn of integrity to do it, and then get all phony aggressive about your character.

    1. avatar Jason says:

      Um, Para’s over 25 years old, and is actually a Canadian company with a US subsidiary. Also, one of the founders died in 2007. A lot of these companies are labors of love, and when the laborers get old and want to retire, it’s necessary for them to sell out to someone if they haven’t gone public by then, or have a family that wants to inherit it and carry on. This is true of many businesses, not just in the gun world. It’s sad when an asset-stripper like FGI is the high bidder, but if you’re cashing in on a lifetime of effort, why wouldn’t you want the most return on your labors?

      1. avatar LLArms says:

        Would be nice in these situations if the owner would make it a point to secure the employment of his loyal employees. If they have to be let ago eventually at least get them 6-12 months of promised employment in writing to give them time.

        The way you describe it sounds so full of honor.

        However I still see someone jumping ship and leaving the little people to sink or swim.

        1. avatar Ralph says:

          I’ve seen situations where the owner of the business who is seeking retirement, or the heirs seeking their cash, offered to sell the business to the employees. The employees then seek out financing and representation and do they deal if they can. If they can’t, well, they’re on their own. That seems more than fair to me.

          It’s more than fair because, more often than not, employees begin to screw up in order to drive the price down. The practice is called “salting the soup,” after a famous restaurant deal where the staff was offered the business and then oversalted everything, driving away customers to lower the sales price. When the deal was finally done, the “under new management” signs went up and the customers eventually came back.

          Owners usually keep sales negotiations secret from the employees until the deal is done. I don’t blame them.

        2. avatar Blake says:

          There is at least one case I know of where a company sold out and the sale contract was written with a “no fire clause.” The ink was scarcely dry and the new owners started firing people.

          If memory serves, it was a privately owned contract bottling company in Colorado that was sold. The owners sold out to a major soft drink brand.

  8. avatar Matt Gilbert says:

    So what happens when something goes wrong with my warthog? I just bought it 5 months ago?

    1. avatar Jason says:

      That’s one of the advantages of a 1911 design. There’ll always be parts and people to work on them. And Para established the standard for double-stack models, which others are now copying, so you’ll still be able to get the few parts that differ from other sources too, even if Para goes away completely. Unlike Marlin, there are other companies in the conglomerate perfectly capable of making a functioning 1911. There is legitimate overlap, as with the AR-15. In this case it actually makes sense to consolidate. Still sad for the employees though.

  9. avatar JOE MATAFOME says:

    I hope Para doesn’t lower it’s standards because they make some really nice guns.

  10. avatar Graybeard says:

    Crud.

    One of my sons owns a Para & has been having a lot of F2F problems with it. I know he’s been putting off sending it in for diagnosis & repairs while he is busy using his GI Bill.

    I sure hope that he can get the problem resolved with the new overlords….

  11. avatar McCaveman says:

    Who is next? Kimber?

    1. avatar Moonshine7102 says:

      I would be very happy if Kimber would relocate out of eastern Kalifornia (aka, New York). The more firearms manufacturers leave the anti-gun states (Springfield, I’m f^ckin’ looking at you!), the better.

  12. avatar JR says:

    Just think of all the new Remington 1911’s that will hit the market by shot show next year.

    They share the same series 80 platform with Para. I wonder if you will start seeing some of their specialized bits, IE the extractor on Remington models.

    I get the feeling they want to get remington to compete with S&W and Ruger as a one-stop-shop vendor.

    1. avatar Robert Farago says:

      Just so.

  13. avatar Jed Henson says:

    I wonder what Mr. Smith means by “no longer active.” I mean, I doubt FGI bought Para just to fire everybody and shut the company down. That = flushing $ down the toilet.

    Human capital is a valuable asset, too. Sure, in any merger you thin the herd to eliminate duplicative jobs, etc. But it’s not like FGI is gonna fire everyone, truck a bunch of Remington R1 engineers and laborers to the Para factory, and say, “Have at it, boys!”

    1. avatar Robert Farago says:

      Right, cause they didn’t do that to Marlin. I’ve heard that two people transferred from the shuttered CT factory.

  14. avatar LC says:

    I’m an end user and I can tell you Para is alive and well and now making better pistols than they have ever made before. The power extractor is gone and has been replaced with an EGW machined piece, the new finishes like IonBond, nitride and anodizing have replaced paint, the new quality standards are stricter than anyone else’s in the industry – I have seen the new pistols from Shot Show and fired the ones taken to Ft. Bragg and I can tell you they are nothing short of remarkable….(seriously – a 3″ pistol knocking down Larue targets at 100 meters) …FGI didn’t buy Para to liquidate them – in my opinion they bought Para because they believe the company will be a leader in the industry. The people responsible for the turn around are still there – as are the employees that have worked hard to make Para worthy of being acquired – It is unfortunate that Mr. Smith is no longer with Para – but just because he isn’t there doesn’t mean they are no longer “active” – it only makes sense that Para remain independent and will now have the fiscal and engineering resources of the nation’s oldest firearms maker to bolster their success.

    1. avatar Robert Farago says:

      Past history is not a guide to future performance. Except when it is.

    2. avatar Matt Gilbert says:

      Good to hear!

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