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Nautilus Completes Commercial Sale

VANCOUVER, WA -- The mystery surrounding the buyer of Nautilus Inc.’s commercial assets may have been resolved—somewhat.

In the completion of the sale that was announced last week, Nautilus said that it had relinquished the licensing of certain assets of its commercial business to Xiamen World Gear Sports Goods Co. Ltd., an affiliate and permitted assignee of Fit Dragon International Ltd. Under terms of the agreement, Nautilus will receive $10.9 million—$7.9 million at closing, $2 million within 60 days and another $1 million over the next three years. The Vancouver, WA-based company also retains certain rights to the Schwinn brand and will continue to market Schwinn fitness products in the consumer channel.

Xiamen World Gear Sports Goods, or World Gear, is also known as Xiamen, China-based manufacturing plant Land America Health and Fitness Co., which Nautilus planned to purchase in 2007. After Sherborne Investors took control of the Nautilus board in 2008, it terminated the $63 million purchase. Gregg Hammann, who lauded the proposed purchase as Nautilus’ CEO in 2007 and now is the CEO of Power Plate International, declined Club Industry’s request to discuss matters concerning Nautilus.

Fit Dragon International, which few in the industry had heard of when the sale was announced last month, currently has operations in Asia, North America and Europe, with approximately 3,000 employees. In a statement last month, Reed Brown, general counsel for Fit Dragon, said Nautilus’ Schwinn and StairMaster brands will be marketed through Fit Dragon’s affiliate, Core Fitness LLC, which will be hiring current and former Nautilus employees who were responsible for both brands.

Nautilus says it is continuing to work with Robert W. Baird & Co. to divest its remaining commercial assets, including Nautilus-branded strength and cardio lines as well as its manufacturing plant in Independence, VA.

The company also announced that a federal income tax refund of approximately $12.1 million, which it previously expected to receive by March 31, is now expected to be received before Jan. 31.

“With the sale of these commercial assets and our anticipated federal tax refund, we enter 2010 with a much improved balance sheet and as a more focused and healthier company,” Nautilus CEO Edward Bramson said in a statement.

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