AMF, now merged with Bowlmor, has come a long way since we reported their filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in 2012.
In one of the biggest acquisitions in bowling history, Bowlmor AMF, the world’s largest bowling center operators, agrees to acquire Brunswick’s bowling center inventory of 85 locations in the U.S. and Canada for $270 million. Brunswick corporation, which traditionally sells bowling equipment, entered the field of bowling proprietorship in the 1960’s. Since then, the retailer has expanded to 87 locations across the nation and generated around $187 million in 2013.
Brunswick bowling center business operates under the Brunswick Zone, Brunswick Zone XL, Brunswick Bowling and Brunswick’s. Apparently the company expects to operate the business as a stand-alone entity, retaining the retail branding and maintaining the existing locations. It will host 334 locations, 9,000 employees and an annual revenue of approximately $600 million.
Now it’s giving up the business to Bowlmor AMF.
But that’s not all the 124 year old company is giving up. Brunswick also announced its plans to sell the remaining portion of the business by the end of the year. Leaving the world of bowling all together. They have yet to find a buyer.
“It’s a very emotional day at Brunswick today, to be perfectly honest with you,” said Jim Fox, President Brunswick Corporations bowling retail division.
The company wants to focus on its boat products and fitness businesses due to the decline in bowling league business and the change of interest in the bowling industry. However, Brunswick did respond to the demand by adding restaurants and other amenities. But the company decided it would rather focus the attention to other ventures such as fitness, boating, and billiards rather than spend the money that would be necessary to revamp all of its bowling centers.
“What’s happening is people have more things to do and more ways to spend their money,” Fox added.
Tom Shannon, Chairman, CEO, and President of Bowlmor AMF also expressed his sentiment in the acquisition of Brunswick’s bowling center businesses,
“Following the transformative Bowlmor and AMF merger last year, which established us as the world’s largest bowling center operator, the acquisition of Brunswick’s bowling centers will further expand our geographic footprint,” he said.
“We embrace bowling as an entertainment experience and are focused on elevating bowling as a category, bringing it back into popular culture as well as furthering our commitment to league play. This acquisition will provide us with a strategic foothold in a number of additional markets while enabling us to further scale our operations and mission by leveraging our strong marketing, employee training and operational infrastructure. With our shared guest experience-focused values and philosophy, we are excited to welcome the Brunswick centers and employees into the Bowlmor AMF family and anticipate a smooth integration. Injecting excitement into the $4 billion North America bowling market is at the core of what we do and we look forward to providing great opportunities to our collective customer and employee base.”
For a complete list of all the Brunswick bowling center locations, visit http://www.bowlbrunswick.com