Yesterday, shock in the executive suite of Florida HQ of Taurus USA as President and CEO Mark Kresser was suddenly dismissed.
After all, since joining the company, Kresser had been given credit inside the industry for making changes to address frequent customer service complaints as well as fundamental changes in the way the company positioned itself- and its products- inside the industry.
But Kresser's dismissal wasn't the only surprise as it seems the Porto Alegre, Brazil based company has been sold to fellow Brazilian company CBC, the Companhia Brasileira de Cartuchos- the holding company which owns Magtech, MEN (Germany) and Czechoslovakia- based Sellier & Bellot.
CBC is best known in the United States for its Magtech line of ammunition, but also produces firearms for other companies, including Mossberg's Plinkster .22 caliber rifle and others.
Sources familiar with both companies tell The Outdoor Wire that Taurus has been "courted" by CBC for some time. Despite being a publicly-held company, Taurus' voting stock is controlled by Chairman LuisFernando Costa Estima. Estima is the surviving partner of a 43-year old partnership that brought the tool and die manufacturer into its present form, focusing on firearms, metals manufacturing, plastics, body armor, helmets and civil construction.
With more than 3,000 employees, the company has grown significantly since first purchasing 54 percent of Forjas Taurus from Bangor Punta, then the owner of Smith & Wesson in 1977. In 1980, Taurus purchased Beretta's Sao Paolo, Brazil manufacturing facility and rights to the tooling and technical expertise to manufacture several different pistol designs.
In 1997, Taurus purchased the rights and equipment to manufacture Rossi brand revolvers and has added several smaller companies since then.
CBC, despite being considerably lesser known in the United States, is one of the world's major ammunition manufacturers, specializing in small and medium calibers. Their Magtech line was created in 1990 as their commercial brand, selling everything from .22 long rifle to 500 S&W magnum ammunition to customers in over 90 countries.
Details on the sale are unavailable at this time, but the market makers for Taurus stock aren't surprised at the development. As recently as May, CBC was essentially the sole buyer for Taurus stock, despite the fact the company's stock was trading near historic lows. At that time, Chairman Estima sold a majority of shares acquired when CBC increased its holding in Taurus from 2% to 16.8%. At that point, Estima retained 38.03% of the voting stock in the company, so CBC's acquisition of all or a majority of his shares would put them in the majority position.
Details are still emerging, but as always, we'll keep you posted.