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Nautilus Commercial Buyer Remains a Mystery to Fitness Industry

VANCOUVER, WA — The company that purchased some of the assets of Nautilus Inc.'s StairMaster and Schwinn Fitness commercial line last month has puzzled many in the industry.

Few people know details about Fit Dragon International Ltd. The company does not have a Web site listing. Even the public relations department for Nautilus — as of press time — had no additional information about Fit Dragon.

In transactions that were scheduled to close late last month, the Nautilus assets were sold to Fit Dragon for $12.3 million. Nautilus nets $10.9 million of the purchase, and Fit Dragon assumes $1.4 million in liabilities.

Nautilus had announced last August that it would divest its commercial business to focus on its consumer (retail and direct) business.

The sale to Fit Dragon includes the licensing of indoor cycling products from the Schwinn Fitness brand for commercial use. Nautilus will retain certain rights to the Schwinn brand and will continue to market Schwinn fitness products in the consumer market.

The Vancouver, WA-based company also will retain certain rights to sell StairMaster products in the retail and direct-to-consumer markets.

“We believe this is an important step towards our goal of focusing exclusively on our direct and retail channels,” Nautilus CEO Edward Bramson said in a press release. “The Schwinn and StairMaster brands and products have been an important part of the commercial marketplace, and we are pleased that these products will continue to be available for health clubs and fitness centers for the future. We are confident that Fit Dragon will be an excellent supplier to the commercial markets, and we will work aggressively with them to support an effective transition of our StairMaster and Schwinn indoor cycling commercial products and service.”

The press release, which Nautilus produced, did not include a comment from a Fit Dragon official.

Nautilus also stated that it is continuing to work with Robert W. Baird & Co., an employee-owned financial services firm, to divest its remaining commercial assets, including its strength and cardio lines and its manufacturing plant in Independence, VA.

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