Monday, January 30, 2012

Para Acquired by Freedom Group

First thing this AM, Para USA has been acquired by the Freedom Group of's the press release:
Madison, NC – Freedom Group, Inc., (FGI) through a wholly owned subsidiary has announced today that it has finalized an asset purchase agreement to acquire certain assets of Para USA, INC., (Para).
Founded in 1985, Para has built a solid and enviable reputation for innovation, performance and reliability. Firearms enthusiasts, serious shooting competitors and law enforcement agencies choose with confidence from a wide and growing variety of Para pistols. Para’s revolutionary high capacity frame and light double action ( LDA ™) trigger systems, are part of the innovation that Para has brought to the world famous 1911 design.
"We welcome Para into the Freedom Group Family of Companies,” stated. E. Scott Blackwell, Chief Sales and Marketing Officer of Freedom Group Inc. “Para USA is a leader in handgun technology and their fine products exemplify quality, innovation and performance. Para is a perfect complement to our industry-leading family of brands, and our success in 2011 with the Remington R1 - 1911. We look forward to deploying both human and financial resources to continue to develop and supply current and future handguns for consumers and our channel partners. We also wish to thank all its employees for their continued dedication that has made Para a success.”
Para will continue day-to-day operations at their Pineville, NC based facility
This is a deal that has been hanging for while. We reported as long as 2 years ago that Freedom was shopping for a handgun company to round out their now-huge portfolio. It's also been no secret that Para has been struggling a bit since the move to North Carolina. Despite a history of innovative products, including the first larger-capacity 1911s, the superior Light Double Action system and the one of the first small single-stack 9mms in the market, Para hasn't been able to get the traction. I would still argue that the Para Carry 9 LDA remains one of the best small 9mms ever made.
The Tactical Target Rifle, Para's entry into the AR market, fell flat despite a number of innovative features and was discontinued last year. The exit of longtime Para professional shooter Todd Jarrett, whose spectacular run of successes kept Para in the spotlight, has not yet been offset by new Para professional shooter Travis Tomasie, who signed on after he left the legendary Army Marksmanship Unit.
This is potentially a very good match ...Freedom has the financial resources that Para has lacked, and the extensive Para product line offers freedom a path beyond the success of the Remington R1 1911 platform.


DamDoc said...

so much for para's skunkworks!.. hope they dont dismantle them like they did bushmaster.... at least the ashes of bushmaster have given rise to the phoenix of windham weaponry...

Kirk Webb said...

I haven't been happy with Para since I bought an early LDA 45 that developed a crack across the slide about 1 inch back from the muzzle (right behind the front sight). My local PD rangemaster had the same problem with his. Para wouldn't even pay for shipping the gun back, and replaced the cracked slide with a beat-up used one.
Never again.

Michael Bane said...

You know, Kirk, Para has had their ups and downs, and customer service has been a large part of the downs. It'll be interesting to see how Freedom decides to play the Para card...I have some marvelous guns with the Para logo...


Flash Powder Hal said...

I bought a Para GI Expert right after they came out. I, stupidly, broke one of the magazine followers the first night. I called their CS next day, asking to buy a new mag follower, they sent me two -- FREE! I love Para's service. I hope it keeps up, as I love the super-accurate and reliable GI.

Anonymous said...

Ho hum. Can't get excited about Para.

I see the LDA as a gimmick.

If a company can't succeed in the current AR & 1911 marketplace then that speaks volumes about the company's products.

Para seems to have a rep for less than stellar quality. Not sure the FG can change that as the Bushmaster's I've examined since FG took over have gone down in quality as far as external finish goes.

I probably would no longer consider a Bushmaster and would choose S&W instead. OTOH, the Remington 1911 seems to be well done for its price point.

Anonymous said...

Well Freedom Group finally bought the handgun company we knew they wanted. Maybe thats the last link in the chain before they go public. I hope the IPO is a success and FG makes money for years to come, but I have my doubts. The only thing they have shown me so far is the ability to close plants and streamline operations, but then someone buys the closed plant and starts competing with them. Not a great business model.

nj_larry said...

Freedom is just following the Beretta Holding model. Freedom is about 30 years behind the curve though. Beretta acquired firearm manufacturers all over Europe, then branched out to optics, clothing and accessories. They even have a philanthropic foundation for medical research. Their "thing" is the Beretta "experience". Their "gallery" stores in major cities around the world are beautiful upper class sales venues.

Metalchemist said...

With Freedom group buying up many gun and ammunition manufacturers in approximately the last four years. One would tend to look into who Freedom Group actually is owned and thus controlled by.
Ever hear of a investment company called Cerberus?
Cerberus is owned by none other than the infamous freedom hater George Sorros. With such a name as Freedom Group one would think they have Freedom at the fore front.
You could be no more wrong in such thinking. Just as the Patriot Act had nothing to do with patriotism.
WARNING, WARNING...Will Robinson, your freedoms and liberities are being surrepiticiously bought up by well known a Gun hater, as well as a former self admitted Hitler youth, Sorros.

DamDoc said...

related item in "the truth about guns".. out with the old and in wiht the new...

Anonymous said...

The George Soros connection is an internet rumor that won't die. You can't provide ANY documentation (other than from nut jobs like David Icke who believe Reptilian aliens run the world) from standard business sources.

Dave S. said...

Hope they don't do to Para what they did to Marlin. Turned a fine lever-action into unusable junk.

Metalchemist said...

The Georgr Sorros connection is NOT a rumor. Freedom Group is owned by a holding group owned by Cerberus which is owned by Sorros.
Do some research before trying to be the "debunker". Personaly I think you are either a troll (potentially a TSA or DHS employee) or a fool. Besides who belives anonomyous's anyway.
The Cerberus was even noted on the "Firearm Blog" also.
DO NOT believe me, RESEARCH it for yourselves. Please.
Semper Paratus.
Acta Non Verba.

Anonymous said...

"The Cerberus was even noted on the "Firearm Blog" also."

OK I give up. You;ve posted on a blog and shown your deep knowledge of business by pointing to another blog for confirmation. must be a Wharton Business School grad. So I have to believe what you say.

Dave S. said...

It took me exactly 2 minutes to determine the Cerberus/Soros link is bunk. Saying "is not!" over and over doesn't change that, Metalchemist.

Dave S. said...

From the NRA:

"Recently, an old rumor regarding Cerberus--the private equity firm that owns Freedom group, a holding company that in turn owns a number of firearms manufacturers, including Remington, Marlin, Bushmaster, and DPMS--was in some way tied to George Soros.

This rumor is completely false and baseless.

NRA has had contact with officials from Cerberus and Freedom Group for some time. The owners and investors involved are strong supporters of the Second Amendment and are avid hunters and shooters.

In reality, at no time has George Soros ever been a part of the ownership group of Freedom Group or Cerberus, and as a privately traded corporation, there is no possibility that he will be in the future.

This unsubstantiated rumor has caused a great deal of unnecessary concern for gun owners. NRA-ILA urges our members to take great care before repeating baseless rumors found on the Internet."