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News / Business / Clark County Business

Vancouver-based BowFlex sold for $37.5 million

Federal bankruptcy court approved sale to Johnson Health Tech Retail

By Sarah Wolf, Columbian staff writer
Published: April 15, 2024, 2:56pm

A federal bankruptcy court has approved the sale of Vancouver-based BowFlex to Johnson Health Tech Retail for $37.5 million.

The at-home fitness equipment company has struggled in recent years. In March, executives filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection to facilitate a sale of the company’s assets.

Judge Andrew Altenburg Jr. approved the sale in New Jersey federal bankruptcy court on Monday.

Johnson Health Tech was set to serve as a “stalking horse bidder” for BowFlex. A stalking horse bidder prevents others from underbidding the purchase price for a bankrupt company.

However, an April 5 auction was canceled because no other serious bids were offered for the nearly 40-year-old company.

Taiwan-based Johnson Health Tech manufactures fitness equipment and sells it under the brand names Vision Fitness, Horizon Fitness and Matrix. The company, a prominent player in the global fitness market, creates equipment for both commercial and residential use.

Johnson Health Tech didn’t immediately respond to The Columbian’s questions about what is expected to happen with Vancouver’s BowFlex campus and employees.

At the time BowFlex filed for Chapter 11, it secured $25 million in debtor-in-possession financing to continue operating.

The company’s fortunes changed rapidly over the last few years. When the pandemic drove a global home workout revolution, BowFlex saw demand for its products boom, driving its stock price up to $29.53 per share in February 2021. But demand slumped as the world returned to normal. Its stock closed at 19.5 cents before it was removed from the New York Stock Exchange.

In the past few years, BowFlex withstood multiple layoffs and sold its namesake brand, Nautilus. The company changed its name from Nautilus to BowFlex on Nov. 1.

But none of it was enough. In its last financial report, the company’s executives reported they had serious doubt the company could remain afloat through the year.

An April 18 hearing will review concerns raised by Amazon.com, Amazon Web Services and Schwinn Acquisition over ongoing contracts they had with BowFlex.

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