Brunswick Corporation on Thursday announced it has agreed to sell its retail bowling business to Bowlmor AMF for $270 million, contingent upon customary closing procedures. Brunswick anticipates completing this transaction in approximately 90 days.

In connection with its decision to sell its bowling centers, Brunswick also announced its intention to divest its bowling products business. Brunswick is targeting to complete that sales process by the end of 2014, during which time the company will continue to operate the business. Brunswick will retain its legacy and namesake billiards business.

Brunswick stated that it had found the Bowlmor AMF offer, which was unsolicited, to be a unique opportunity to transfer ownership of this business at an attractive valuation.

“Brunswick Retail Bowling has long been a solid contributor to our company, and last year had approximately $187 million in sales. After careful consideration, however, we concluded that this transaction is in the best interests of our shareholders and the retail bowling business,” explained Brunswick Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Dustan E. McCoy.

“The bowling industry has been evolving as center counts decline and the customer mix shifts from predominately league bowling to casual bowlers seeking an entertainment-oriented experience. For Brunswick to drive growth in this business, it would take continual development of new entertainment concepts and significant additional investment to implement these new concepts at new properties or to convert existing centers.

“We believe directing investments into select portions of our core marine operations as well as our fitness business provide better opportunities for greater returns. In 2013, the marine and fitness businesses together accounted for 92 percent of Brunswick’s net revenues,” McCoy continued.

“Conversely, Bowlmor AMF’s primary strategic objective is to invest in and grow its retail bowling business, which includes proven entertainment concepts in certain of its centers. With the addition of the Brunswick locations, Bowlmor AMF will increase its center count to 343 in North America, and it will add some of the most dedicated and talented people in retail bowling.

“Finally, due to our exit from the retail bowling business, combined with similar market dynamics, we have retained Lazard to seek a suitable buyer for our bowling products business,” McCoy concluded.

Brunswick stated its current plan assumes that the eventual purchaser will retain both the manufacturing operations and the talented workforce of bowling products. During the sale process, bowling products will maintain ongoing operations and conduct business-as-usual, while keeping its employees, distribution network and customer base informed of the sale’s progress.

We want to remind everyone that the deadline for the discount to enter the Killeen Open PBA Southwest Regional pro-am this year is approaching fast. The deadline is Aug. 4. Spots are filling up fast. So if you’re interested in getting the time that you want, you don’t want to miss out on the opportunity.

PBA Hall of Famer Pete Weber of St. Ann, Mo., won his fourth Best Bowler ESPY Award on Wednesday during the 22nd annual ESPY Awards ceremony at the Nokia Theater in downtown Los Angeles.

Weber was the leading vote-getter among Best Bowler candidates Jason Belmonte, Wes Malott and Sean Rash, who attended the event with his wife, Sara, and father, Gene Rash. ESPN awards for a variety of sports categories and special moments are determined by fan voting on

Weber, who previously won the Best Bowler ESPY in 2002, 2004 and 2013, won after completing the PBA’s Triple Crown for a second time, winning the USBC Senior Masters title — a PBA50 Tour major — and earning PBA50 Rookie of the Year honors.

The Killeen Open PBA Southwest Regional is right around the corner, Aug. 8-10. Hallmark Lanes will host the greatest bowlers in the world for their 18th season.

Dick Atkinson, proprietor of Hallmark, has been on hand from the very beginning, and although he has been under the weather, he plans to present the coveted Eagle award to the winner.

See you on the lanes.

Don Wright has been sharing insights on area/national bowling with Herald readers for more than 25 years. Contact him at

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