Local rifle manufacturer Adams Arms misfires, heads to auction

The Odessa company will be auctioned April 30 as a turn-key operation after a lender said it was owed $5.1 million.
Part of the inventory at Adams Arms LLC of Odessa, which is going on the auction block April 30. Courtesy of Moecker Auctions.
Part of the inventory at Adams Arms LLC of Odessa, which is going on the auction block April 30. Courtesy of Moecker Auctions.
Published April 25

ODESSA — Rifle manufacturer Adams Arms missed its target.

The company, once named manufacturing industry of the year by the Pasco Economic Development Council, is on the auction block. A public sale of collateral is scheduled for April 30 with the company being sold as a turnkey operation in a single-lot auction by Moecker Auctions of Fort Lauderdale.

The assets include all accounts, patents, trademarks, investment documents, furniture, fixtures and equipment. The auction comes after Adams Arms defaulted on secured debt of more than $5.1 million, according to a notice from the lenders’ attorney, Noel R. Boeke, from the Tampa offices of Holland & Knight.

“While the company has not stopped serving our customers and community, the current climate has not offered the expected growth to keep up with the financial demands of the operation,’’ said Paul Miller, company chairman and CEO, in a statement posted on the company’s web site.

The staff, he said, is committed to the brand and customers and plans to continue to operate under new ownership.

The company manufacturers military-grade rifles, retrofit kits for rifles and other accessories. It operates out of leased space at 1551 Gunn Highway. The company formed in 2007 and said it employed 100 people when it expanded to Pasco County in 2012.

Public records show the company paid its tangible property taxes on installment plans for the past three years, a service offered to companies that are in arrears, said Tax Collector Mike Fasano. His office put a $21,000 lien on the company’s assets in advance of the auction to ensure payment for 2018. The outstanding bill was paid April 10, records show.

A breach of contract lawsuit against Adams Arms also remains open in Pasco Circuit Court. In that case, Grace-FX of Port Richey sued in 2015, alleging that Adams Arms wanted the hydrographics installer to affix camouflage patterns on 1,000 rifle stocks. The suit said the firearms company then failed to fulfill the order after Grace-Fx had purchased specialized equipment and supplies for the job.

The two sides reached a $15,000 settlement in October 2016, according to court records, but Grace-FX returned to court three months later, saying Adams Arms had failed to make its payments.

A year after moving to Pasco County, the Economic Development Council named the company its 2013 manufacturing industry of the year for exhibiting “exemplary growth in technology, innovation, job creation, capital investment and community service.’’

Adams Arms relocated to Pasco after acquiring $2.7 million in financing from Littlebanc Advisors, LLC, of Boca Raton in 2012. An affiliate of that company, LB Merchant AA-2, is one of two current debtors seeking the auction.

The Pasco County Property Appraiser’s Office assessed the company’s equipment and furnishings at just less than $2.1 million.

“While there have been many assumptions, speculations, accusations, and oddball theories,” Miller said, “...Adams Arms remains hopeful that the outcome of the auction is in the best interest of the customers, partners and the Adams Arms brand.’’

Contact C.T. Bowen at [email protected] or (813) 435-7306. Follow @CTBowen2.

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