NIOA Acquires Barrett Firearms By: Patti Miller


In a piece of startling news, Australian defense contractor NIOA has acquired 100% of Barrett Firearms. The industry-leading rifle design and manufacturing company has come together with the family-owned NIOA for a joint commitment to quality, innovation, loyalty, and mission, according to NIOA Group CEO Robert Nioa.

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Not familiar with NIOA? It is the largest Australian-owned supplier of weapons, firearms, and ammunition to Australian and New Zealand law enforcement, defense forces, and commercial markets. Additionally, the company is a major holder of a government-owned, contractor-operated munition factory where they currently produce 120mm munitions for Abrams tanks in addition to the 30mm and 35mm cannon ammunition.

NIOA CEO Robert Nioa, acquisition of Barrett Firearms
The Australian-based NIOA has acquired a 100 percent stake in Barrett Firearms, effective January 2023. No major changes are planned for Barrett manufacturing. (Photo credit: Barrett Firearms)

“NIOA’s association with Barrett dates back to 2008. We have been inspired by the story of Barrett and admire what Ronnie, Chris, and the family have built over more than four decades,” Mr. Nioa said.

“It’s been a story of hard work, perseverance, and purpose culminating in the delivery of critical capability for the men and women of the US military and its allies around the world as well as exceptional products to law enforcement agencies and civilian markets.

“Together we share the same mission – combining our expertise and family business values will ensure Barrett carries on building the finest products in the world.’’

The Barrett brand will continue to operate after the acquisition as a separate division within the NIOA Group. Barrett joins NOIA Australia, NIOA New Zealand, the Australian Missile Corporation, and Rheinmetall NIOA Munitions, the group’s investment joint venture company.

While no financial terms of the deal were revealed, it was stated that all management and staff at the Murfreesboro facility in Tennessee will stay on with no changes in production. There are plans to further expand the production activities in Murfreesboro in the future.

The current Barrett President, Sam Shallenberger, has been promoted to Chief Executive Officer, while the current CEO Bryan James will be President.  Ronnie Barrett and Chris Barrett will act as executive advisers to Barrett and the NIOA Group going forward.

“Today marks the beginning of a new chapter in the Barrett story. Rob and the NIOA team have great respect for the legacy Barrett has created as the leader in long range precision rifles,” stated Barrett founder Ronnie Barrett. “It’s reassuring to know Barrett will be in good hands with a family-owned company that is focused on manufacturing and delivering world-class firearms and munitions to a global network.”

Building off the existing relationships with American companies of Vista Outdoors, Leupold, and Lake City ammunition plant to name a few, NIOA opens the door to the next chapter for their company. It will be interesting to see where NIOA and Barrett go from here.