Today, Gov. Eric Greitens announced that American Outdoor Brands Corporation (NASDAQ Global Select: AOBC), a company that represents a broad portfolio of entities in the hunting and outdoor enthusiast market, including Smith & Wesson, intends to establish a national distribution center in the Columbia area of Boone County. The company plans to break ground on the new 500,000 sq. ft. facility in the next several months and create around 300 jobs in the next several years.
The Governor released a video of him announcing the jobs at Green Valley Rifle and Pistol Club with leaders from Battenfeld Technologies, another member of the American Outdoor Brands Corporation Family. Watch that video here.
“Earlier this month, I sat down with James Debney, the CEO of American Outdoor Brands, in our office and told him about our vision for a state with more jobs and bigger paychecks. They are committed to growing with our state and creating jobs for the people of Missouri. Our top priority is bringing more opportunities to the people of Missouri and growing our economy. We’re fighting for more jobs every day, and we’re grateful for strong leaders in the private sector who recognize the strength and potential of Missouri’s workforce. We are thrilled to announce more investment and hundreds of jobs from a great company in Missouri,” said Gov. Eric Greitens.
American Outdoor Brands Corporation, the parent company of the iconic Smith & Wesson firearm and ammunition brand, acquired Columbia-based Battenfeld Technologies in 2014. The company is planning to construct a new, larger building in the area to accommodate the 100 employees that currently operate out of its facility located on Lemone Industrial Boulevard, as well as the hundreds of new team members that are expected to be hired in the future.
James Debney, President and CEO of American Outdoor Brands, said, “We continue to focus on our vision of being a leading provider of high-quality products for the shooting, hunting, and rugged outdoor enthusiast. By executing on our strategy and delivering growth organically and through targeted acquisitions, we have successfully grown to multiple operating divisions that serve a large addressable market and represent more than 18 respected consumer brands. Establishing a national distribution center will allow us, over time, to harvest synergies across our businesses. Our meetings with representatives of Missouri and Gov. Greitens demonstrated that they are business-friendly and understand what we need as a company to be successful.”
Missouri competed against several other states to land AOBC’s potential $55 million-expansion. Ultimately, the company chose to move forward with the Show-Me State, crediting it for its highly-skilled workforce, central location, and new, conservative leadership.
If all contingency requirements are met, construction for the new site, which is planned on Route Z in the southern part of the county, would begin this spring and take approximately 18 months to complete. The new facility would serve as the national distribution center for the company as well as the operations and assembly facility for Battenfeld Technologies.
The Boone County Commission is also partnering with the company to help it grow in Mid-Missouri.
“The Boone County Commission is pleased that American Outdoor Brands is making an expansion in Boone County. This company has a proven record of good performance and good corporate citizenship in Boone County over the past years and holds great promise to continue this path and improve this relationship. We look forward to working out the details of this important arrangement,” said Dan Atwill, Boone County Commissioner.