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Brazil’s Taurus Intl.. Acquires OPA Locka Gun-Maker

By Paul Brinkmann, South Florida Business Journal

Gun manufacturer Taurus USA, a subsidiary of Brazil-based Taurus International, acquired Opa Locka-based Heritage Manufacturing.

A U.S. subsidiary of Brazil-based Taurus International has acquired local gun-maker Heritage Manufacturing, based in Opa Locka.

The acquisition was the latest example in a string of Brazilian investments in South Florida.

A spokeswoman for Taurus said the company did not envision any staff reduction at Heritage as a result of the acquisition. Taurus declined to say how much it paid for Heritage. Heritage Manufacturing was founded in 1992 by president Jay Bernkrant and his wife, Maria Diaz

Taurus said in a news release Tuesday that Heritage would continue operating independently and maintain its own brands, which include the Heritage Western Single Action Revolver, Rough Rider 22LR and 22 Magnum combo revolver.

Taurus opened its U.S. subsidiary in Miami in 1982. In 1994, the New York Times reported that Taurus has become the largest foreign supplier of guns to the U.S.

Tom Angelo of Fort Lauderdale law firm Angelo & Banta represented Taurus in the acquisition; Greenberg Traurig represented Heritage.

In 2009, Taurus USA president Bob Morrison told Miami Dade County that he was considering a move to another Florida location. But Taurus agreed to stay in Miami Gardens, add 123 new employees over three years and make a $7.8 million capital investment. The company’s 59,500-square-foot-facility near the Palmetto Expressway was to be renovated and expanded. If it met those goals, it was set to receive more than $300,000 in incentive money from the county and state.

Currently, Taurus is advertising a promotion on its website to receive a free one-year membership in the National Rifle Association with the purchase of a gun.

Mark Kresser, president and CEO of Taurus USA, said in a news release that Hertitage was “a perfect fit with our growth strategy to acquire and partner with companies that share our core competency of affordably priced firearms for all shooters.”

Taurus began as small tool manufacturer in Porto Alegre, Brazil 60 years ago. At one point, Bangor Punta, the same conglomerate that owned Smith & Wesson, owned Taurus. The current owners took a majority position in 1977. In 1980, Taurus purchased a large gun factory in Brazil from Beretta.

In the U.S. Taurus makes pistol models called PT-22, PT-25, PT-732 and PT-738 pistols.

pbrinkmann@bizjournals.com | (954) 949-7562