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BowFlex Files for Bankruptcy, Eyes Potential Sale to Matrix Parent

BowFlex Files for Bankruptcy, Eyes Potential Sale to Matrix Parent

After a lengthy fight, the fitness equipment maker is waiving the white flag and seeking new ownership with help from a stalking horse bidder

At-home fitness equipment manufacturer BowFlex has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, agreeing to a deal that could see Matrix parent company Johnson Health Tech Retail acquire it for $37.5 million.

Johnson Health Tech will operate as BowFlex’s stalking horse bidder, allowing them to acquire all company assets at the close of the transaction, less closing adjustment amounts for accounts receivable, inventory and certain transfer taxes. Other interested parties will have the chance to submit competing offers, but if none beat the $37.5 million price already agreed upon by BowFlex and Johnson, the sale will go through. 

Subject to court approval, BowFlex will also receive $25 million of debtor-in-possession financing from SLR Credit Solutions and its affiliates. Those funds will enable BowFlex to continue its normal operations and meet its financial obligations to employees, vendors and its continued provision of customer orders during the bankruptcy proceedings and while executing the sale process.

“For decades, BowFlex has empowered healthier living and enabled consumers to reach their fitness goals with our innovative home fitness products and individualized connected fitness experiences,” said Jim Barr, BowFlex CEO. “As a result of the post-pandemic environment and persistent macroeconomic headwinds, we conducted a comprehensive strategic review and determined this was the best path forward for our company. We are fortified by the potential partnership with Johnson Health Tech and encouraged by the multiple parties that have indicated an interest in bidding for our company. Our goal is to maximize value for our stakeholders through this process.”

At-Home Fitness Struggles

BowFlex isn’t the only at-home fitness supplier struggling out of the pandemic gates. Peloton has repeatedly seen share prices drop, including a 23% dip last month after lowering its full-year 2024 revenue forecast.

Still, the writing has been on the wall for BowFlex for some time now. In December, the company received a notice from the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) alerting them of their failure to comply with listing standards, such as maintaining an average global market capitalization of at least $50 million over a 30-day consecutive trading period. 

A few months before that, the Vancouver, Washington-based company was hit with a non-compliance notice, which flagged the brand for having an average closing price of less than $1.00 per share over a consecutive 30-trading day period. Now, BowFlex will enter bankruptcy with $140 million in assets and $126 million in liabilities according to its newly filed petition

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What’s Next for BowFlex?

Along with Matrix Fitness, Johnson Health Tech also carries wellness companies Horizon Fitness and Vision Fitness. Whether Johnson or another bidder ends up acquiring BowFlex, the move promises to give the once-popular at-home fitness maker a much-needed sense of redirection after recent struggles

BowFlex notably underwent a rebrand last year, changing its name from Nautilus to BowFlex to put more emphasis on its strongest brand. The equipment maker also remodeled its BowFlex line, equipping it with brighter visuals, messaging with goal promotions and a more inclusive approach to fitness to hopefully attract younger fitness consumers.

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