Thermold Magazines to Move Headquarters to Fort Smith

Thermold Magazines, which makes magazines for firearms and weapons products, announced Tuesday that it will move its U.S. headquarters to Fort Smith from North Carolina.

In a news release, the company said it will move to the River Bend Industries building where River Bend will manufacture magazines for Thermold, and Thermold will handle assembly and distribution at the location.

Combined, the two companies will add 65 new jobs and invest more than $7 million.

Gov. Mike Beebe joined company officials and city leaders for the announcement Tuesday morning at the Fort Smith Chamber of Commerce. The Arkansas Economic Development Commission said Thermold will receive tax credits and $500,000 from an incentive fund for the project.

"The entire Thermold team is excited to establish our North American headquarters in Fort Smith," Sylvan Bednar, president of Thermold Magazines, said in a news release. "Gov. Beebe, the AEDC, and the Fort Smith Chamber of Commerce have worked tirelessly to make this happen and we appreciate all of their combined efforts. Thermold Magazines is committed to helping get people back to work and being a positive influence within this great community."

Ron Embree, CEO of River Bend Industries, said the deal is good for everyone involved.

"It is a business plan that is truly win-win-win," he said. "The state and city get an additional business, Thermold gets an outstanding new home in Fort Smith, Arkansas and River Bend gets the opportunity to secure its manufacturing in Fort Smith.  "It’s an amazing 'outside of the box' solution for everyone."

Thermold Magazines began in the 1960s as a molded plastics injection manufacturer serving the automotive industry. The company later began producing weapons magazines using a nylon resin that resisted heat and corrosion. The company now produces magazines for the military, law enforcement and sport shooters.

River Bend Industries is one of the largest custom molders of thermoplastics and engineering resins in the country. The company has three facilities in two states housing 108 molding machines in 444,000 SF of manufacturing space.

"In addition to Fort Smith gaining a new corporate headquarters, River Bend Industries will expand its operation and put more people back to work," Tim Allen, president of the Fort Smith Regional Chamber of Commerce, said. "Manufacturing in Fort Smith is still very strong and it’s the chamber’s commitment to bring quality jobs back to this region."

The move adds another company to Fort Smith's portfolio of weapons companies. In a similar campus-sharing deal, Walther Arms Inc. announced last year that it would move its U.S. operations to Chaffee Crossing in Fort Smith, sharing a campus and business resources with Umarex USA, which expanded its manufacturing operations to include components of both airguns and firearms.

Thermold said people interested in employment opportunities with the companies can email or call River Bend Industries' Kim Condry at (479) 646-3473 ext. 422.