Brunswick Acquires Life Fitness

Brunswick Acquires Life Fitness
For $310 Million

Below are some articles about Brunswick's acquisition of Life Fitness, the manufacturer of Lifecycles 4 June 1997. Mr. Larson commented on Brunswick's recent acquisition binge in their 2nd Quarter 1997 report. We (RBBI) put together some comments on the acquisitions as well and "tacked" them on to the end of the 2nd Quarter results report on the Industry News Page.

PR Newswire
4 June 1997

Brunswick To Buy Life Fitness for $310 Million

LAKE FOREST, Ill., June 4 /PRNewswire/ via Individual Inc. -- Brunswick Corporation (NYSE: BC) announced today the signing of an agreement to acquire Life Fitness for approximately $310 million from a private equity fund managed by Mancuso & Company. Life Fitness designs, markets and manufactures the leading global brand of computerized cardiovascular and strength training fitness equipment serving the commercial (health clubs, military, government, corporate and university facilities) and high-end consumer markets.

"Life Fitness fits perfectly with the strategy Brunswick is executing," said Brunswick Chairman and CEO Peter N. Larson. "We have targeted the active recreation segment due to favorable demographic and consumer trends, such as baby boomers remaining more active as they move into their 50's with more spendable income and the emphasis on wellness, active life styles and social interaction. These are among the factors driving growth in fitness equipment sales. Additionally, we see growth opportunities for Life Fitness in the wellness market as physicians promote exercise to treat and reduce the risk of disease and as international markets become increasingly aware of the benefits of exercise."

Life Fitness, best known for its Lifecycle(R) stationary bicycles and treadmills with the patented FlexDeck(R) shock absorption system, also markets a complete line of stairclimbers, rowers, cross trainers and strength training equipment to fitness centers world wide. With annual sales of approximately $180 million, Life Fitness is recognized as the technology leader in the fitness industry based on its reputation for product innovation, quality, performance and reliability. Completion of the acquisition is subject to customary conditions, and the transaction is scheduled to close in July. The business will continue to be operated by its current management.

Commenting on the transaction, Life Fitness President Augie Nieto said, "Becoming a part of Brunswick's growing family of active recreation products is a tremendous opportunity for Life Fitness. Both companies share a strong belief in serving the needs of its customers, and Brunswick is committed to supporting the ongoing investments in product innovation that are critical to Life Fitness continuing its global leadership position."

Brunswick Corporation is a multinational company serving the outdoor and indoor active recreation markets with consumer products that include such leading brands as Zebco and Quantum fishing reels and reel/rod combinations; American Camper and Remington camping gear; Igloo coolers and ice chests; Mongoose, Roadmaster and Ride Hard bicycles; Brunswick bowling and family entertainment centers, equipment and consumer products; Brunswick billiards tables; Sea Ray, Bayliner and Maxum pleasure boats; Baja high-performance boats; Boston Whaler and Trophy offshore fishing boats; Mercury, Mariner and Force outboard engines and MerCruiser sterndrives and inboard engines.

Mancuso & Company is a New York-based merchant banking firm.

Forward looking statements in this release, as defined by the Private Securities Litigation Reform Law, involve certain risks and uncertainties that may cause actual results to differ materially from expectations as of the date of this announcement. These risks include, but are not limited to, adverse weather conditions retarding sales; inventory adjustments by major retailers; competitive pricing pressures; success of planned acquisition, marketing and cost management programs and shifts in market demand.

SOURCE Brunswick Corporation

/CONTACT: Kathryn J. Chieger, Vice President - Corporate and Investor Relations, of Brunswick Corporation, 847-735-4612/ (BC)

[06-04-97 at 08:55 EDT, PR Newswire]

AP-Dow Jones News Service
4 June 1997

Brunswick - Life Fitness -2: Life Fitness Has $180M Yr Sales

LAKE FOREST, Ill. -- Brunswick Corp. (BC) confirmed it agreed to buy Life Fitness for about $310 million from a private equity fund managed by Mancuso & Co.

In a press release Wednesday, Brunswick said Life Fitness, with annual sales of $180 million, designs and makes cardiovascular and strength training equipment.

Brunswick posted 1996 earnings of $185.8 million, or $1.88 a share, on revenues of $3.16 billion.

As reported in The Wall Street Journal Wednesday, Brunswick has spent nearly $850 million broadening its recreation-oriented product lines from boating, bowling and billiards into camping, bicycling and other outdoor activities.

Brunswick said favorable demographic and consumer trends, such as baby boomers remaining active, drive growth in fitness equipment sales.

Mancuso & Co., New York, is a merchant banking firm.

Copyright 1997 Dow Jones Company, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Wall Street Journal 
5 June 1997
by Richard Gibson

Brunswick to Buy Maker
Of Lifecycle for $310 Million

Brunswick Corp. agreed to acquire Life Fitness, the maker of Lifecycle stationary bicycles and other high-end exercise equipment, for $310 million, people familiar with the transaction said.

The deal, which is expected to be announced Wednesday, would mark the biggest acquisition yet by Brunswick's diversification-minded new management. In recent months, the Lake Forest, Ill., company has spent nearly $850 million broadening its recreation-oriented lines from boating, bowling and billiards into camping, bicycling and other outdoor activities.

Acquiring Life Fitness from Mancuso & Co., a New York-based merchant-banking concern, adds yet another leg to what Brunswick's chairman and chief executive officer, Peter N. Larson, calls "the active recreation segment."

Life Fitness specializes in exercise equipment with a technical twist. Its Lifecycle bicycle, for example, gives a digital readout of a person's heart rate and can give a printout verifying exercise that some insurers accept for lower insurance rates. The company's treadmill adjusts its incline and resistance level to a user's needs.

Such equipment, which can retail for as much as $7,200, is targeted primarily at health clubs, university and government installations and other commercial users. Because of its equipment's price tags, Life Fitness hasn't gone after consumer use at home. The company is believed to have about a 15% share of the global commercial exercise-machine market.

Life Fitness employs about 700 at two U.S. plants and several sales offices overseas. Brunswick last year reported sales of $3.2 billion and net income of $185.8 million, or $1.88 a share.

Copyright 1997 Dow Jones Company, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Brunswick' Latest Acquisition (Life Fitness' Lifecycle)
Faces FTC Advertising Problem

Wall Street Journal 18 June 1997

Ads Promise Firm 'Abs' Fast,
But FTC Says Don't Believe It

The Federal Trade Commission is trying to whip exercise-equipment makers into shape.

The agency has taken aim at the advertising claims made by makers of several brands of equipment, including the Abflex abdominal-muscle exerciser, the Lifecycle stationary bike and the Cross Walk Treadmill.

Forget the manufacturers' promises, the agency warns. It will take a lot more than three minutes a day on the "ab" machine to get a washboard stomach, as one manufacturer claimed. And don't expect to drop from a size 12 to a size 8 after spending a little time on a treadmill, either. Those fat-burning claims for treadmills and stationary bicycles may not be accurate, the FTC says.

As part of its continuing crackdown on exaggerated weight-loss marketing, the agency had experts examine claims made for several exercise machines used in homes and health clubs. The result: Three major exercise-equipment manufacturers and an infomercial producer agreed to settle the agency's allegations that they couldn't support many rosy claims.

The three manufacturers are Abflex U.S.A. Inc. of Carlsbad, Calif.; Icon Health & Fitness Inc., Logan, Utah; and Life Fitness, Franklin Park, Ill.

part of article deleted here

Furthermore, the FTC says, there is no basis for Life Fitness to claim in print ads that a cyclist can "burn over 1,000 calories an hour." The agency questions generalizing about the number of calories exercisers can burn because that depends on such factors as weight, height and physical condition.

RBBI Note: The actual FTC Press Release and the Actual Consent Agreement are available on the FTC web site. Just select "Commission Actions", Select June 1997, and look for the June 17, 1997 Life Fitness entry (File No, 962-3042).

Brunswick Acquires Hammer Strength Equipment

13 November 1997
Today (13 Nov 1997) at a Chicago trade show, Brunswick announced the acquisition of Hammer Strength Equipment of Cincinnati. This manufacturer of plate loaded exercise equipment with annual sales of about $13 million will be used to compliment their other recent acquisition, Life Fitness, which also makes exercise equipment.

As Brunswick continues to diversify away from the marine recreation business, we wonder what effect this will have on their marine operations. Will they continue to receive adequate funding, will BC management be more focused on the new industries and perhaps miss some critical decisions in the marine business, will people from the new industries "come across" and breathe some new life into the marine businesses, will these new businesses help stabilize some of the economic swings of the boating industry?

I think many of the recent BC acquisitions have been to stabilize sales (stock prices) in times of economic swings. They are also an attempt to "grow" the company. These acquisitions may have a much more complex effect than BC management anticipates. In the recent past, holders of BC stock were very aware the marine business had a considerable "swing" (beta value to stock folks) with the economy. Current and anticipated economic conditions were amplified in BC (and other similar companies) stock prices. If the stock price swing is reduced, the stock owners who owned BC stock in order to "play" the economic swings will go somewhere else. This will result in a lot of stock for sale and in a new set of stockholders. These new stockholders will be more similar to those holding other large conglomerates. These new stockholders will have a new set of demands because they have a different agenda. They will certainly be less focused on the boating industry and may be less willing to make large capital investments there.

Brunswick Corp. Buys Exercise Equip Maker Parabody Inc.

Dow Jones Newswires 
February 2, 1998
LAKE FOREST, Ill. -- Brunswick Corp. acquired Parabody Inc., a maker of multi-station gyms, benches and racks with annual sales of $20 million.
Financial terms weren't disclosed.
In a press release Monday, Brunswick said the acquisition complements its Life Fitness line of exercise equipment.
Brunswick, which posted sales of $3.66 billion in 1997, makes indoor and outdoor recreation products.

Copyright © 1998 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.

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