|Traded as||NYSE: BC|
|Founded||September 15, 1845|
|Founder||John Moses Brunswick|
|Headquarters||Lake Forest, IL, U.S.|
|Dustan E. McCoy
(Chairman of the Board) & (CEO)
|Revenue||$ 3.838 billion (2014)|
|$ 308.2 million (2014)|
|$ 245.7 million (2014)|
|Total assets||$ 3.130 billion (2014)|
|Total equity||$ 1.171 billion (2014)|
Number of employees
|12,165 (Dec 2014)|
|Divisions||List of Divisions|
The Brunswick Corporation, formerly known as the Brunswick-Balke-Collender Company, is an American corporation that specializes in developing, manufacturing and marketing a wide variety of products since 1845. Brunswick's global headquarters is in the northern Chicago suburb of Lake Forest, Illinois. In 2014, it had sales of US$3.838 billion with net earnings of $245.7 million.
Brunswick was founded by John Moses Brunswick who came to the United States from Switzerland at the age of 15. The J. M. Brunswick Manufacturing Company opened for business on September 15, 1845, in Cincinnati, Ohio. Originally J. M. Brunswick intended his company to be mainly in the business of making carriages, but soon after opening his machine shop, he became fascinated with billiards and decided that making billiard tables would be more lucrative, as the better tables then in use in the United States were imported from England. Brunswick billiard tables were a commercial success, and the business expanded and opened up the first of what would become many branch offices in Chicago, Illinois in 1848. It was later renamed J. M. Brunswick & Brother by 1871, after a family member came on board, and the company's rather hyperbolic slogan at this time was: "The oldest and most extensive billiard table manufacturers in the United States".
In 1874, the Brunswick company merged with competitor Great Western Billiard Manufactory owned by Julius Balke to become the J. M. Brunswick & Balke Company. It was incorporated in 1879 with a capital stock of $275,000, the same year it merged with another competitor, H. W. Collender Company of New York City (founded by Hugh W. Collender), to acquire Collender's patented billiard cushions. In 1884, the partners formed the Brunswick-Balke-Collender Company (or B.B.C. Company for short) with capital of $1.5 million.
The company expanded into making a number of other products. Large ornate neo-classical style bars for saloons were a popular product. Bowling balls, pins, and equipment led a growing line of sporting equipment. It popularized bowling balls of manufactured materials, vulcanized rubber at first; earlier bowling balls had been solid wood.
In the early 20th century, Brunswick expanded the product line to include such diverse products as toilet seats, automobile tires, and phonographs. In the late 1910s, they introduced a quickly-popular line of disc phonograph records, under the name Brunswick Records. In 1930, Brunswick sold the control of the record company to Warner Brothers and came out with a line of refrigerators.
During World War II, Brunswick-Balke-Collender made small target-drone aircraft for the U.S. military. After the war, Brunswick introduced a line of school furniture. In 1955, the Brunswick "Model A" Mechanical Pinsetter fully automated unit premiered, for the purpose of handling bowling pins for the sport of tenpins, in competition with American Machine and Foundry (AMF). Previously, Brunswick had made two models of semi-automated, manually operated "spotting tables" for the tenpin sport, that the "Model A" unit replaced. The decade also saw the introduction of a line of golfing equipment to compete with AMF in the leisure products and sporting goods markets.
The Brunswick-Balke-Collender Company officially changed its name to the Brunswick Corporation on April 10, 1960. The following year the company reported sales of $422 million. Brunswick acquired Mercury Marine in 1961. In the 1970s, Brunswick introduced the automatic scorer, which electronically tallied the score instead of the bowler doing it by hand.
In 1997, Brunswick purchased the Roadmaster bicycle division, one of the last U.S. manufacturers of low-cost, mass-market bicycles. However, it became apparent that continued U.S. manufacture of such products was not viable in the presence of surging low-priced imports from overseas producers, primarily China. In 1999, Brunswick sold its Roadmaster bicycle division and brand to Pacific Cycle, who went on to acquire several U.S. bicycle brands for use on bicycles imported from China.
As of the early 21st century, the Brunswick Corporation still manufactures sporting and fitness equipment (Life Fitness, Hammer Strength, Parabody) in addition to boats (Sea Ray, Bayliner, Maxum, etc.) and marine engines under the Mercury Marine brand name.
In 2004, Brunswick acquired Lowe Boats. The same year, the company also purchased Northstar Technologies, a leading marine electronics provider based in Acton, Massachusetts, from Canadian Marconi Corporation (now CMC Electronics, a wholly owned subsidiary of Esterline Technologies Corporation). Brunswick then merged Navman, based in Auckland, New Zealand, with Northstar to make Northstar/Navman a supplier to the Brunswick Boat Groups. Brunswick also acquired Mx-Marine. When George Buckley, CEO at the time, left to join 3M in 2006, new leadership decided to sell Northstar, Navman and Mx-Marine. Navico now owns those three brands in addition to the Eagle, Lowrance, B&G, and Simrad lines.
On November 9, 2006, the company announced that it was closing two plants and downsizing the workforce by 650 employees, citing slow demand for new boats. Numerous other layoffs occurred prior to this in the Brunswick New Technologies division.
Brunswick reports that in the past five years, their international sales have grown at twice the rate of domestic sales. It has established regional headquarters in Verviers, Belgium; Monterrey, Dandenong, Australia; and Dubai to better serve its customers by designing, engineering, manufacturing and distributing products based on local needs, using local talent.
On July 17, 2014, Brunswick announced its intention to leave the bowling business by the end of 2014. The company disclosed that it had agreed to sell the bowling center business, which brought in $187 million in revenue in the prior year, to competitor Bowlmor AMF for $270 million. It also disclosed that it had retained Lazard to find a buyer for its bowling equipment and products business. The company said it was making these changes to focus on its “core” Marine and Fitness businesses, which provided 92% of company net revenues in 2013. It will retain its heritage billiards business and report billiards financial results as part of the fitness segment. The sale of the bowling center business to Bowlmor AMF was completed in September 2014.
Brunswick completed its exit from the bowling business in May 2015 with the sale of the bowling equipment and products division to BlueArc Capital Management, a private investment firm based in Atlanta, GA. BlueArc completed the acquisition with investments from Gladstone Investment Corporation, a publicly traded business development company in McLean, Va., and Capitala Finance Corp., a business development company in Charlotte, N.C.
- Brunswick Bowling & Billiards - Lake Forest, Illinois
- Life Fitness - Schiller Park, Illinois
- Brunswick Boat Group - Knoxville, Tennessee
- Mercury Marine - Fond du Lac, Wisconsin
- Six Rail Artistry - Antique Tables Transform Billiards and Pool into Games Worthy of the Grandest Parlor
- "Thomson Reuters".
- Wallihan, Samuel S.; Bigney, T. O., eds. (1871). The Rocky Mountain Directory and Colorado Gazetteer. Denver: S. S. Wallihan & Co. J. M. Brunswick & Brother advertisement.
- Shamos, Mike (1999). The New Illustrated Encyclopedia of Billiards. New York City, NY, US: Lyons Press. pp. 24, 89–90. ISBN 1-55821-797-5.
- "Brunswick Completes Acquisition of Hatteras Yachts".
- "Global Presence". Brunswick.com. Lake Forest, IL: Brunswick Corporation. 2008. Retrieved 2008-06-26.
- "Brunswick to Sell Retail Bowling Business to Bowlmor AMF". YAHOO Finance Global Newsire. July 18, 2014.
- "Bowlmor AMF Completes Acquisition of Brunswick Corporation's Bowling Center Business". MarketWatch. September 18, 2014.
- "BlueArc Capital Management Acquires Brunswick Bowling Products". Bowlers Journal. May 26, 2015.
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