Brunswick Corp. has expanded its plastics processing operations and further bolstered its recreation segment by agreeing to pay $212 million in cash for Roadmas-ter Industries Inc.'s Bicycle Division and Flexible Flyer line of sleds and wagons. The definitive agreement is set to close by Sept. 30.
``Roadmaster bicycles will be an immediate and solid contributor to Brunswick's growing commitment to the active recreation market,'' Peter Larson, Brunswick chairman and chief executive officer, said in a release.
Brunswick, based in Lake Forest, Ill., will buy the Roadmas-ter trademark, which first was used in 1935. The company plans to structure the three-facility operations - which include an undisclosed number of in-house injection molding and blow molding machines - within its recently formed Outdoor Recreation Group.
The Brunswick group's Zebco Division already molds plastic parts for spin-cast fishing reels on 12 injection molding presses with clamping forces of 75-300 tons at its Tulsa, Okla., plant.
Roadmaster will adopt a new corporate name and retain the Flexible Flyer trademark, first used in 1889, for use in other toy categories.
Roadmaster said the sale was made to reduce debt and reinvest in remaining toy and fitness-related businesses. Roadmaster will offer to repurchase its 11.75 percent senior subordinated notes due in 2002 in order to cut about $10.6 million of annual interest expense.
Roadmaster manufactures children's and intermediate-size bicycles, toys, stationary exercise bikes and free weights in 720,000 square feet of facilities in Olney, Ill., where the injection molding and blow molding equipment affected by this deal is located. Roadmaster makes adult bicycles in facilities of 140,500 square feet in Delavan, Wis., and 72,000 square feet in Effingham, Ill.
In a business being retained, Roadmaster makes traditional Flexible Flyer products and new toys at a 315,000-square-foot plant in West Point, Miss. Flexible Flyer's plastics molding capacity at a nearby 93,000-square-foot facility has allowed the company to expand its toy product lines.
Between October and January, Roadmaster installed one each of Cincinnati Milacron Inc.'s twin-35, twin-25 and twin-15 blow-molding machines and soon may add a smaller machine. Roadmaster owned the building and acquired switchgears, silos and chillers from a former vendor, KSQ Inc. of Winfield, Kan.
KSQ operated the West Point plastics plant for Roadmaster from July 1994 to September 1995. In taking control of blow molding operations, Roadmaster employs more than 70, has decreased its reliance on outside suppliers and is providing plastic parts to some customers.
In a separate, $120 million transaction March 8, Brunswick acquired Roadmaster's Nelson/ Weather-Rite Division, which makes camping equipment, rain gear and sleeping bags.
Brunswick employs 20,900 and reported 1995 profit of $127.2 million on sales of $3 billion. The firm manufactures pleasure boats, marine engines, fishing tackle, camping equipment and bowling and billiard equipment.
Roadmaster, which employs 5,700, lost $51 million in 1995 on sales of $730.9 million. The Atlanta-based company wrote down $23.5 million of balance-sheet goodwill on its fitness business, took a $7.5 million restructuring charge and made higher interest payments to cover inventories and receivables.