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>> Bill Thierfelder of the-company-formerly-known-as York Fitness — at the ispo show in Germany with his newly named global company called Laurus Worldwide — had to leave after two days due to the birth of his eighth child. We wish him and his family the best of health!
>> Although not represented in the fitness expo at ispo, Precor did make an appearance — if you looked closely. The Atomic ski booth on a large side wall listed its parent as Amer Group, under which it also listed (of course) Atomic, but also Suunto (wrist-top computers) and — ta-da! — Precor. Not sure how many passers-by in the ski hall knew what Precor was, but it’s the thought that counts.
>> Matrix Fitness will be heading to Europe, SNEWS was told. Kicking off at the FIBO show in Germany in a couple of months, Style Fitness, which also distributes Vision and Horizon in Europe, will bring both higher-end light commercial Vision equipment and Matrix equipment to Europe for developing commercial and vertical markets.
>> Russell Corp. (NYSE: RML) has acquired bankrupt Bike Athletic Co. for $16.25 million. Bike, headquartered in Knoxville, Tenn., filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection on June 20, 2002. Bike reported sales of approximately $35 million in 2002. The company’s product line includes athletic supporters, knee and elbow pads, braces, protective equipment, team uniforms and performance apparel under several brand names including Bike, Lady Bike, Compression Performance Short, BMS, SXT and Sportfit. Bike currently employs approximately 100 people at its Knoxville operation. SNEWS View: Russell has been on a bit of an acquisition tear lately, snatching up Jagged Edge, Moving Comfort and now Bike — all companies in need of financial support. Russell’s brand portfolio now includes, in addition to the above, Russell Athletic, Jerzees, Mossy Oak, Cross Creek and Discus.