Today (23 June 1997) we found Mercury Marine has finally established a web site at http://www.mercurymarine.com.
posted June 18, 1997 Dow Jones Newswires from an OMC Press Release Tuesday 17 JuneOMC has signed a long-term agreement to purchase selected outboard engines from Suzuki Motor Corp., and will market the engines under the Johnson and Evinrude brand names. See our OMC/Suzuki page for much more information about this major news item.
Wall Street Journal 18 June 1997Full story available on the Brunswick Page.
Toyota Motor Shows Its Mettle After Fire Destroys Parts Plant Wall Street Journal Article 8 May 1997.
"... evidence that our strategy to grow our active recreation business through expansion of our product families, effective marketing and acquisitions is working," said Peter N. Larson, chairman and chief executive officer.
"We remain focused on our strategy to build Brunswick's active recreation business," Larson said. "In addition to Igloo coolers and the Hoppe's line of hunting accessories acquired earlier this year, we recently announced an agrement to purchase the Mongoose brand of BMX mountain, cross and road bicycles for the independent distribution channel. In the first quarter, sales of fishing and camping equipment, bicycles and bowling equipment along with revenues from bowling center operations accounted for 32 percent of total sales, versus 26 percent a year ago, with marine product sales accounting for the balance."
"We will continue to emphasize aggressive marketing programs and innovative product introductions to increase sales in each of our business segments, and to acquire active recreation businesses to supplement internally-driven growth," Larson said. "As a result of these actions, our marine operations are expected to grow, but at a slower rate than our other business units.
Over time, marine segment sales are targeted to represent about half of total sales, compared with 68 percent in the first quarter and about 75 percent historically."
RBBI editorial comment - we interpret the above to read, "Rather than re-investing profits from our marine segment in capital equipment, marketing and R&D, we are going to use that money to acquire active recreation companies, resulting in growth and more stable stock prices. Marine division engineering departments will focus on cost reduction of existing products in our effort to maximize profits for acquisitions. Stop new product development." Did somebody forget to tell him about Toyota entering the marine industry?
Conglomerates dominated by cyclic industries (like the boating industry) must choose:
There is so much material here we had to move it to a separate page. Just click on the link above to go there.
Wall Street Journal 2 April 1997 Page A-2
LAKE FOREST, Ill. -- Brunswick Corp. agreed to acquire Bell Sports Corp.'s Mongoose bicycle business, along with certain stock options, for $22 million.
The maker of recreational products said the transaction includes the inventory and trademark of the Mongoose bicycle and parts business. The business, which has about $60 million in annual sales, markets a line of bicycles under the Mongoose brand name, and also distributes bicycle parts and accessories under the Advent brand.
Bell, of Scottsdale, Ariz., said the sale will allow it to consolidate certain distribution operations, improve its cash position and focus on its core bicycle-helmet and bicycle-accessory lines.
Brunswick's diverse product line includes equipment used for such pastimes as fishing, camping, boating and bowling. Last year, it entered the bicycle business for the first time when it paid about $190 million to acquire the Roadmaster brand bicycle business from the company now known as RDM Sports Group Inc.
As part of the purchase, Brunswick also received options to buy up to 600,000 shares of Bell common stock at $7.50 apiece.
Those options don't appear to have any immediate value: In Nasdaq Stock Market trading Tuesday, shares of Bell Sports closed up 50 cents at $5.875 -- well below the exercise price of the options Brunswick is acquiring. In New York Stock Exchange composite trading, Brunswick shares closed unchanged at $26.875.
Lloyds List 3/22/97RBBI note - A Canadian firm is installing twin Z drives in a "through the hull" mount with twin nozzled propellers in tug boats. In the past, stern drive manufacturers have toyed with this type of mounting. Perhaps something can be learned from the tug application.
The full text of the article is in our Technology Folder in the Product Section.
PR Newswire 03-18-97RBBI Note - usually the FTC issues a news release which may not be as "sweet" as the press release from companies involved in the investigations. The releases are posted on the FTC web site. We have not seen a release regarding this investigation and called the FTC about it. They said they were not sure if one would be released."
LAKE FOREST, Ill., March 18 /PRNewswire/ via Individual Inc. -- Brunswick Corporation (NYSE: BC) announced today that the Federal Trade Commission had concluded its investigation begun in 1993 of the company's outboard marine engine business, including its joint venture interest in Tracker Marine, L.P.
"We are pleased that the FTC has closed this matter after deciding that no action is warranted," said Brunswick Chairman and CEO Peter N. Larson.
Headquartered in Lake Forest, Illinois, Brunswick Corporation is a multinational company serving outdoor and indoor active recreation markets with consumer products that include such leading brands as Zebco and Quantum fishing reels and reel/rod combinations; American Camper and Remington camping gear; Igloo coolers and ice chests; Roadmaster bicycles; Brunswick bowling and family entertainment centers, equipment and consumer products; Brunswick billiards tables; Sea Ray and Bayliner pleasure boats; Boston Whaler offshore fishing boats; Mercury, Mariner and Force outboard engines and MerCruiser sterndrives and inboard engines.
SOURCE Brunswick Corporation
/CONTACT: Kathryn J. Chieger, Vice President - Investor Relations, of Brunswick Corporation, 847-735-4612/ (BC)
[03-18-97 at 16:52 EST, PR Newswire]
PR Newswire 03-08-97
LAKE FOREST, Ill., March 7 /PRNewswire/ via Individual Inc. -- Brunswick Corporation (NYSE: BC) announced today its purchase of the Hoppe's(TM) line of hunting accessories from Penguin Industries, Inc. Hoppe's is the oldest, largest and most recognized name in gun cleaning and shooting accessories. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.
"Hoppe's fills a niche market that complements and extends our growing line of branded outdoor recreation consumer products," said Brunswick Chairman and CEO Peter N. Larson. "In addition to meeting our acquisition criteria by being a number-one brand, Hoppe's also shares distribution synergies in the mass merchant channel with our other outdoor recreation products including Zebco(R) fishing tackle, American Camper(R) and Remington(R) camping equipment, Roadmaster(R) bicycles and Igloo(R) ice chests and beverage coolers. Further, our studies have shown that hunters are very likely to be active participants in fishing and camping. This high level of cross participation enables us to market a wide range of products to the same customer very efficiently.
The Hoppe's line, which includes the well-known Hoppe's No. 9 solvent, lubricating oils, cleaning kits and carrying cases, will be integrated into the Brunswick Outdoor Recreation Group, headquartered in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
Headquartered in Lake Forest, Illinois, Brunswick Corporation is a multinational company serving outdoor and indoor active recreation markets with consumer products that include such leading brands as Zebco and Quantum fishing reels and reel/rod combinations; American Camper and Remington camping gear; Igloo coolers and ice chests; Roadmaster bicycles; Brunswick bowling and family entertainment centers, equipment and consumer products; Brunswick billiards tables; Sea Ray and Bayliner pleasure boats; Boston Whaler offshore fishing boats; Mercury, Mariner and Force outboard engines and MerCruiser sterndrives and inboard engines. SOURCE Brunswick Corporation
/CONTACT: Kathryn J. Chieger, Vice President - Investor Relations, 847-735-4612, or Ross H. Stemer, Director - Public Relations, 847-735-4851, both of Brunswick Corporation/ (BC) CO: Brunswick Corporation ST: Illinois IN: SU: MS-LA -- CLF017 -- 4466 03/07/97 13:17 EST http://www.prnewswire.com
[03-08-97 at 12:00 EST, PR Newswire]
LAKE FOREST, Ill., Reuters via Individual Inc. : Brunswick Corp said Friday it purchased the Hoppe's line of hunting accessories from <Penguin Industries Inc> for undisclosed terms.
The Hoppe's line includes gun cleaning and shooting accessories as well as Hoppe's No. 9 solvent, lubricating oils and carrying cases.
It will be integrated into the Brunswick Outdoor Recreation Group, headquartered in Tulsa, Okla.
Brunswick supplies a variety of products for the outdoor and indoor active recreation markets, with such brand names as Zebco fishing reels, Roadmaster bicycles and Igloo coolers.
Copyright 1997, Reuters America Inc.
Wall Street Journal March 7, 1997 Page B6
Article has been condensed by RBBIU.S. Tax Court upheld an Internal Revenue Service decision to disallow some $100 million in losses claimed by Colgate-Palmolive Co. from an exotic off-shore tax-shelter partnership arranged by Merrill Lynch and Co.
Tax Court Judge David Laro ruled in Washington on Wednesday that a series of Merrill-designed transactions that Coalgate executed between October 1989 and December 1991 in order to off-set a $105 million capital gain "lacked economic substance" and served no useful nontax purpose."
The tax court dispute was detailed last May in a page-one article in the Wall Street Journal and has been closely watched by tax lawyers and accountants. At least seven other Merrill clients did similar transactions. Colgate lawyers were led by former IRS commissioner, Fred Goldberg, now at Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom.
At a trial in New York on the matter a year ago, one Merrill Lynch investment banker said other Merrill clients that did similar transactions included: Allied Signal Inc., American Home Products Corp., Borden Inc., Brunswick Corp., Dun & Bradstreet Corp., Paramount Communications Inc. (now part of Viacom Inc.), and Schering-Plough Corp.
The Merrill plan put Colgate into a Bermuda investment partnership with Merrill and a Dutch Bank, Algemene Bank Netherlands, or ABN, now a unit of ABN Amro Holding NV. Then a series of shifts in the partnership's investments and ownership resulted in a paper profit for the Dutch bank in 1989, followed by a paper loss for Colgate two years later. As a non-U.S. taxpayer, the Dutch bank didn't owe federal taxes on its gain, but Colgate tried to apply its losses against a $105 million capital gain from the 1988 sale of its Kendall health care division. The IRS disallowed the losses in 1993, calling the maneuvers "sham transactions."
At he trial. Colgate argued that it aimed to use the partnership as a vehicle to buy back debt and manage its interest rate exposure. However, Judge Laro noted that Colgate's willingness to pay all of the some $7.9 million in fees to Merrill and others for the transaction drastically reduced its chances of making a profit - beyond tax savings - on its minority share of $205 million invested in the partnership.
Judge Laro noted that Hans Polschroeder, then Colgate's assistant treasurer, revealed "a striking indifference to cost considerations" in describing one partnership investment decision.
Merrill wouldn't comment on the decision or other transactions for other clients, but added that "each case would stand on its own facts and its own merits." Because Judge Laro's decision was labeled a tax court memo instead of an opinion, some experts said it could have less weight as a precedent for other similar cases.
Wall Street Journal 21 Feb 1997 Page B6 By RICHARD GIBSON WAUKEGAN, Ill. --Outboard Marine Corp., citing softer-than-expected sales, plans to reduce U.S. production of boats and motors soon. The company also indicated that it eventually may close some plants.
While Outboard Marine wasn't specific as to which facilities might be affected, it said forthcoming temporary production cutbacks likely would hurt earnings in the current quarter and full year. The company posted a loss of $14.3 million, or 71 cents a share, for the fiscal first quarter ended Dec. 31. For the 1996 fiscal year ended Sept. 30, losses totaled $7.3 million.
Coincidentally, Moody's Investors Services late Wednesday downgraded $139.6 million of Outboard Marine's senior unsecured and subordinated debt. Citing industry softness and high inventory of last year's production that would impair the company's financial flexibility, Moody's lowered to Ba-3 from Ba-2 senior unsecured and industrial revenue bonds and reduced subordinated debt to B-2 from B-1.
Responding to Moody's moves, Outboard Marine's chairman and chief executive officer, Harry W. Bowman said, "We understand ... Moody's desire to adopt a cautious and conservative view of the marine industry's prospects in the near term," but he was confident that "the profound strategic and operating changes we are making must proceed." Mr. Bowman said those changes would result "in expenditures which must be absorbed at a time of soft demand for our products."
Since coming from Whirlpool Corp. in 1995, Mr. Bowman has ordered a comprehensive review in an effort to put Outboard back on an even keel. Among possibilities company officials have mentioned are combining boatmaking facilities and outsourcing certain parts. The company also is upgrading some facilities. It shut down part of a North Carolina engine plant for a month late last year to upgrade engine-block quality.
Shares of Outboard Marine closed down 87.5 cents, or 5.7%, to $14.50 in New York Stock Exchange composite trading Thursday, approaching the 52-week low of $14.375.
The downturn in domestic sales caught Outboard Marine by surprise. It had anticipated a moderate upturn, but outboard-engine sales in the past four months are down about 6% from a year earlier, a spokesman said. Boat sales are a mixed picture, with company sales to dealers up slightly and sales to retail customers below year-earlier levels.
In a recent Securities and Exchange Commission filing, Outboard Marine said that it expects a "modest-to-no" increase in overall sales this year. Any improvement is expected to come from international engine sales, the company said.
Outboard Marine said it is optimistic about consumer reaction to its new 150-horsepower Ficht outboard, the first motor from the company to meet Environmental Protection Agency reduced-emission requirements for two-cycle engines. The unit, which retails for about $13,000, is said to have better fuel economy, starts easily and consumes 50% less oil.
Feb 21, 1997
Toyota's Japanese web site now carries a December 18, 1996 Press Release of their venture with Kiwi of New Zealand. Toyota will design and market the boats which are to be built by Kiwi. The package includes a new drive. Toyota will also market 2 marine engines and expects to widen its offerings in the future. Toyota U.S. announced the same day they are forming a U.S. Marine Division. The new boats were shown at the Tokyo International Boat Show (our rumor was true). We watched the Japanese news very closely during the boat show, but Toyota's presence there was overshadowed by a major fire in their automotive operations as the show was opening. Extensive details of Toyota's Boat Building Operations and plans are available on our Toyota Page.
Feb 8, 1997
PERTH, Feb 6 (Reuter) - Australia's Orbital Engine Corporation Ltd said Japanese marine outboard engine manufacturer, Tohatsu Corp, signed a licence agreement on Thursday giving Tohatsu access to Orbital's engine technology.
The agreement allows Tohatsu to make, use and sell engines using the Orbital Combustion Process (OCP) technology in its outboard engines, Orbital said.
It said Tohatsu will unveil a 50 horsepower, three cylinder marine engine using Orbital technology and capable of meeting tough new U.S. emission rules at the Tokyo International Boat Show opening on Friday.
Feb 7, 1997 the Tokyo International Boat Show opened this morning. We hear rumors of a major developments and are investigating it.
Feb 7, 1997 - This week's opening of the huge mega "Industry Week" site combined with the recent entry of the BoatBiz - Boating Industry Magazine web site have really helped to increase the information gap between the internet users in the industry and those still on the sideline. We look forward to more entries that will force industry execs to "get online".
Jan 10, 1997 - New York Times has a nice report on the New York boat show. Early results appear mixed. Weather is not great but definitely better than last year.
Dec 16, 1996 - The Coast Guard issued a red flag against certain inflatable PFD's. They say one manufacturer's inflation switch combined with another specific manufacturer's CO2 cartridge may not function properly (inflation switch cannot pierce the cartridge.) We have a copy of the actual Coast Guard announcement and some additional information in a Washington news release for those interested in the specific units described.
Dec 14 1996 - A large freighter slams into a Riverwalk with stores and a hotel in New Orleans on a busy Saturday afternoon. We have full and ongoing coverage of the accident in the accidents folder.
Dow Jones News Services 19 November 1996
LAKE FOREST, Ill. -- Brunswick Corp. (BC) signed a definitive contract to acquire closely held Igloo Holdings Inc. for about $154 million cash. In a press release, Brunswick Corp. said Igloo will become part of the company's Brunswick Outdoor Recreation Group. The transaction is scheduled to close in early 1997, subject to customary closing conditions. Igloo, Houston, makes ice chests, beverage coolers and thermoelectric cooler/warmer products. Igloo has annual sales of about $150 million.
Wall Street Journal 20 November 1996
Brunswick Corp. said it definitively agreed to pay $154 million to acquire closely held Igloo Holdings Inc., a Houston manufacturer of ice chests and beverage coolers. Brunswick, a maker of boats and recreational products, called the purchase part of a strategy to expand its presence in "active recreation consumer products." In pursuit of that "refocusing," it has this year adjusted its boat-manufacturing holdings and paid an aggregated $318 million to acquire Roadmaster Industries Inc.'s camping-products division, bicycle business and its line of sleds and wagons. Brunswick said its acquisition of Igloo, which has annual sales of about $150 million, will complement its current line of recreational and camping offerings.
A lengthy story in the November 20, 1996 Houston Chronicle titled "Igloo Products Corp Signs Deal With Brunswick Corp" provides historical and current information about Igloo.
Brunswick electronically filed its 3rd Quarter 1996 SEC filing on 12 November 1996. On 14 November 1996 we made a local copy of the managerial reports in the filing.
While checking some domain names in WHOIS today (13 Nov 1996) I discovered Brunswick has acquired bruncorp.com as a domain name on 11-Oct-96. I personally contacted Brunswick MIS (Management Information Systems) Dept. in December 1994 and suggested they register brunswick.com and several other brunswick trademark names as domain names. They did not register them and as a result, brunswick.com and several other brunswick names were lost to other firms. Has the sleeping giant discovered the internet?
The November 11, 1996 Wall Street Journal has an article titled "Toyota to Unveil Low-Cost Engine Next Month". The article says Toyota claims to have developed an engine with 1/3 fewer parts that can be produced for 1/3 lower cost. This would make their small car engines cost to produce drop from about $600 to $400. In the "nickel and dime" automotive cost cutting world this is incredible. This has been followed by a 25 November 1996 Business Week article titled "Toyota May Have the Little Engine That Could". Both articles are available in our Engine Development Folder.
Stillwater Newspress 22 Oct 1996 STARKE, Fla. (AP) storyA man was executed in the electric chair for kidnapping and killing an heiress to the Evinrude motor fortune after stealing $134 from the convenience store where she worked.
John Earl Bush, 38, was put to death Monday night for the 1982 slaying of 18-year-old Frances Julia Slater.
She was working the night shift at a Stuart convenience store when four robbers entered and kidnapped her. They drove 13 miles, stabbed and shot her, and pushed her out of the vehicle.
...Ms. Slater was the granddaughter of actress Frances Langford an Ralph Evinrude, founder of the marine motor company that bears his name. Although her family was wealthy, Ms. Slater planned to invest in convenience stores and worked at one to learn the business...
The Wisconsin State Journal via Knight-Ridder/Tribune via Individual Inc. The Wisconsin State Journal Knight-Ridder/Tribune Business News
Oct. 9--Brunswick Corp. will close the Roadmaster bicycle plant in Delavan by mid-December, throwing about 450 people out of work, Brunswick said Tuesday.
The jobs, but not the employees, are being moved to another Roadmaster plant that Brunswick owns in Olney, Ill.
Shutdown of the plant will begin Nov. 27 and be finished Dec. 11, said Gary Dollahon, Brunswick spokesman.
The company said it is consolidating bike manufacturing in Olney to reduce the cost of its bike operation.
"This is just good business sense," said Jim Dawson, president of Brunswick's Outdoor Recreation Group, based in Tulsa, Okla. "Moving the Delavan operation to Roadmaster's primary location in Olney is simply the best use of the extra space and existing structure there. The closing has nothing to do with the quality of the products or the quality of the work force."
Brunswick, with corporate heaquarters in Lake Forest, Ill., bought Roadmaster's bicycle division and its Flexible Flyer line of sleds and wagons about a month ago for $198 million.
"The overhead structure was in place, so it made sense to consolidate operations and save millions in costs," said Dollahon.
Brunswick, a 150-year-old company that started by making billiard tables, also includes Mercury Outboard and Mercruiser boats in its Outdoor Recreation Group. Brunswick has annual sales of about $3 billion, said Dollahon.
Roadmaster makes a full line of bicycles, which are assembled domestically from imported parts. The Delavan plant makes 24- and 26-inch mountain bikes including some store brand bikes, said Dollahon.
After the Roadmaster sale, Delavan workers said they were promised the plant wouldn't close, said Heath Goff, a paint line group leader and representative of the Union of Needletrades Industrial and Textile Employees, which unionized the Delavan plant about a year ago.
"We heard a rumor of it, but every time we asked the company, it said 'No, it's not going to happen,' " said Goff. "We feel like we've been cheated all the way around."
Goff said the first official word came Tuesday in a five-minute written statement read to workers by a company official.
Goff and Angel Godina, a forklift operator and member of the union's bargaining committee, said they believe the formation of the union had an impact on the company's decision.
"I know a lot of people who think it was like that too," said Godina.
Mel Kent, vice president of human relations for Roadmaster, said no compensation package has been worked out for all of the employees. They are not being offered jobs in Olney, where 350 to 400 jobs will be added to the 1,400 people who presently work there.
Goff said it's too early to say what workers will do, but many are talking about finding jobs elsewhere before the plant closes. Godina said many workers were angry and upset by the announcement, but are not panicking; Walworth County has a lot of well-paying jobs to be found, he said.
Trek, another bicycle maker, opened a plant in Whitewater in June, but is not currently hiring large numbers of people to staff it, said Trek communications director Jackson Lynch.
[10-09-96 at 12:00 EDT, Copyright 1996, Knight-Ridder/Tribune Business News]
WASHINGTON (Dow Jones)--A group including Greenway Partners L.P. lifted its stake in Outboard Marine Corp. (OM) to 9.9%.
In a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, the group said it bought 289,100 additional shares and now holds 2 million common shares of the Waukegan, Ill., firm.
Standard and Poors's rating group said it will add Lucent Technologies, Inc. to the S&P 500 index after the close of trading Monday, September 30. Lucent will replace Outboard Marine Corp which is moving to the S&P SmallCap 600 Index.
New York- "a federal judge here said that putting a "site" on the World Wide Web doesn't in itself subject someone to being sued anywhere in the country." U.S. District Judge Sidney Stein dismissed a trademark-infringement lawsuits filed in New York. The issue was whether a Missouri club's World Wide Web site provided a basis for a New York club to sue in federal court in New York.
LAKE FOREST, Ill. - Brunswick Corp. said it completed the purchase of Roadmaster Industries Inc.'s bicycle business and its line of sleds and wagons for $198 million.
Brunswick, a maker of boats and recreational products, said the bicycle business will be operated by its outdoor recreation group, based in Tulsa, Okla. Roadmaster is based in Atlanta.
A group including activist investment firm Greenway Partners LP said it holds an 8.5% stake in Outboard Marine Corp. and may hold discussions with management or other shareholders about the company.
Greenway Partners, based in New York, said the boating company's stock, which has been slumping, is "undervalued." In composite New York Stock Exchange trading, Outboard closed at $16.25, up 75 cents on the day but near its yearlong low of $14.38. In the past year, Outboard has traded as high as $22.63.
Two years earlier, Greenway successfully pushed U.S. Shoe Corp. to a breakup. And earlier this year, Greenway, led by Alfred D. Kingsley, a former associate of takeover strategist Carl Icahn, proposed similar breakups at Woolworth Corp. and Unisys Corp.
Greenway wouldn't comment beyond a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, which said it recently acquired about 1.7 million Outboard Marine common shares for $14.54 to $18.75 a share. In the filing, Greenway said it will "closely monitor developments" at Outboard Marine.
In Waukegan, Ill., Outboard officials didn't return phone calls.
For its fiscal third quarter ended June 30, Outboard Marine reported lower sales and a loss of $3.6 million, compared with year-earlier net income of $28 million. In announcing the lower results, Outboard Marine said it planned to "re-engineer" its businesses to lower costs and improve profit margins.
Late last month, Outboard said it planned to spend $100 million in an eight-year program to remake its outboard engine lines. The changes, which will improve fuel efficiency and cut exhaust output, will allow the company to comply with new emissions standards required by the Environmental Protection Agency.
Under the new regulations, marine-engine makers must reduce certain motor emissions by 75% by 2006. According to the EPA, the rule is expected to add $700 to the price of the average outboard engine, which generally costs $5,000 to $6,000.