Italian firearm producer Beretta Holding S.A. is set to relocate and expand a coastal Georgia manufacturing operation it acquired last year, investing $60 million and hiring 600 at a new facility, according to the office of Gov. Brian Kemp.
Beretta purchased Norma Precision Inc. from RUAG International, a Swiss government-owned firm that divested its Ammotec division earlier this year. Norma operated as a U.S. subsidiary of RUAG for 12 years, with its main production base in Tampa.
Norma announced in a previous news release that it had selected the Savannah area for a plant but didn’t outline details about the site. Norma’s chief executive, Peter Lemke, formerly ran Polycase Ammunition LLC, a now-disbanded exporter of ammunition, in Savannah.
With the recent deal, Norma will move from Chatham County to a new 300,000-square-foot factory at the Interstate Centre III industrial park in nearby Bryan County. Current employees will be given the option to relocate along with the operation.
Proximity to ports played a key role in the company’s decision to stay rooted in coastal Georgia, especially given that exports are a core element of its sales strategy.
“This new facility offers Norma Precision a significant opportunity to expand our small arms ammunition manufacturing and distribution operations to meet our customer expectations in the United States and abroad,” Mr. Lemke said in the release.
Beretta, a 500-year-old company and world leader in light firearms, ammo and optics, gained more than 2,200 employees in 12 countries in the purchase of Ammotec (and Norma).
“I am pleased with all that Georgia has to offer to our company, and I am confident this long-term partnership will be mutually beneficial,” said Pietro Gusalli Beretta, president and CEO of Beretta Holding.
The company is the latest Italian firm to land south of Atlanta, following a tomato sauce cannery planned by La Regina di San Marzano in Alma, Ga., and Epta’s recommitment to investing in the Kysor Warren facility it bought in Columbus.
More than 60 Italian-based firms operate in Georgia.