Tampa-based Bolt & Nut Inc., a manufacturer and distributor of fasteners founded 40 years ago by entrepreneur Bob Cornett, was recently acquired by Mobile-headquartered Threaded Fasteners Inc. (TFI), according to a news release.

“Threaded Fasteners Inc. is joining forces with the Bolt & Nut sales and manufacturing teams to create an even more dynamic platform to serve commercial and industrial clients in Florida and the Southeastern United States,” TFI said in a prepared statement.

Now 78, Cornett will continue to own and operate Tampa-based Hurri-bolt Inc., a manufacturer of hurricane bolts, as a separate company.

In 2013 TFI initially opened a location on Currie Davis Drive in Tampa. Earlier this month the smaller office moved and merged with the Bolt & Nut staff, already comprising 21 employees, into a consolidated location under the new business entity. The South Florida site encompasses some 50,000 square feet of manufacturing space and sales offices near the campus of the University of South Florida.

Cornett said religious common ground paved the way for the acquisition of Bolt & Nut by TFI. Other businesses had approached him over the years about selling his manufacturing firm, he said, but the timing had never been right until recently.

“From the first time I met the Threaded Fasteners leadership team, we had a common bond,” Cornett said. “It was truth right off the bat. If it hadn’t been for our shared values, I don’t think this would have ever happened.”  
Billy Duren, president of Threaded Fasteners, said TFI’s goal is to continue building on the foundation and principles Cornett spent four decades cultivating in Tampa and across the globe. 

“Bob Cornett has such an incredible story of success you just can’t help but be intrigued,” Duren said. “In the past few months we have forged a genuine friendship.”  

 With nearly 53 years in the manufacturing business, Cornett said he believes this is a great time to invest in Florida. The Tampa Bay area is experiencing huge growth in the form of long-term construction projects and other initiatives.

“I see tremendous potential in this area,” Cornett said. “I think there’s going to be a boom for at least the next five to eight years.”

Founded in 1977 by Cornett and his wife, Linda, Bolt & Nut began as a fastener maintenance distributor to the phosphate mining industry in central Florida. In 1991, the company expanded into manufacturing. A major-impact project came in 1994, the manufacture and supply of substructure anchor bolts for a power plant, which expanded the company’s footprint significantly.

Founded in 1979, TFI is among a handful of local area manufacturers structured as employee stock ownership plans (ESOPs). Products encompass custom packaging and distribution of steel fasteners, including tower and electric utility bolts and anchor bolts, and other related items.

Customers hail from various business sectors, including power-generating utilities, chemical and electrical, commercial marine construction, stainless steel fabricators, metal building manufacturers and Department of Transportation fabricators.

Employing more than 160 locally, TFI maintains $4.5 million worth of inventory across six distribution warehouses in Alabama, Mississippi, Florida, Oklahoma and Tennessee. More information can be found on TFI’s website.

Locally filmed “Get Out” attracts more attention
Filmed exclusively in Mobile and Baldwin counties in 2015, hit film “Get Out” was recently nominated for two awards during the 75th annual Golden Globe Awards. One for Best Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy and a second for actor Daniel Kaluuya for Best Performance by an Actor in A Motion Picture – Musical Or Comedy.

Although the film didn’t collect trophies in either category, it was named best movie by the International Film Festival, the African American Film Critics Association and the Southeastern Films Critics Association, to date earning more than $175 million at the box office.

 Director Jordan Peele was also recognized by The New York Film Critics for Best First Film and by the National Board of Review for Best Directorial Debut.

 The film industry in lower Alabama has produced more than 200 movies, television shows and commercials since its inception in the 1970s and is estimated to bring in tens of thousands of dollars in income. To date, during any given project, roughly 100 local area industry-related contractors are hired for film crew, in addition to those who relocate to Mobile temporarily during filming. 

“We are extremely proud of the Mobile Film Office and the work that has been produced in Mobile. Our film industry is a real success story for Alabama and something we hope to keep building in the future.” Mobile Mayor Sandy Stimpson said.

Hear more history about the local movie industry in Lagniappe’s Real Deal podcast, Episode 18, available on iTunes and Libsyn.

Zarzour commercial real estate firm opens downtown
Matt Zarzour, Gaines Zarzour and Ryan Zarzour recently announced the opening of Zarzour Cos. Commercial Real Estate Services. Zarzour Cos. is a full-service commercial real estate firm offering transactional, development, management and advisory services.

Matt Zarzour and Gaines Zarzour previously served as co-principals of Monarch Group Commercial Real Estate, while Ryan Zarzour served as an investment analyst for Carroll Organization in Atlanta.

“The market, both locally and nationally, is showing signs of significant, stabilized growth and we believe it important to position ourselves to offer a full spectrum of commercial services,” CEO Matt Zarzour said. “We look forward to the lasting partnerships that we plan to create with our clients.”

The firm’s office is located in downtown Mobile. Additional information can be found on its website.