AMF Bowling Center

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AMF Bowling Centers, Inc. is the world's largest owner and operator of bowling centers,[1] employing more than 7,000 people. The centers offer multi-lane Ten-pin bowling for all ages, support league play, and local events such as Dollar Mania and Late Night College Fest as well as Xtreme Bowling. AMF operates 262 centers.[2] Its chief competitor is the Brunswick Corporation.

Bowling center with AMF equipment, Sofia, Bulgaria.

The company went into Chapter 11 bankruptcy for the second time in 12 years in November 2012. In its filing the company said there had been a 36 percent decline in league memberships since 1998 and that it had been unsuccessful in selling assets. The company's bankruptcy plan calls for it to emerge in April 2013.[3]

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Company history

AMF was founded in New York in 1900 as American Machine and Foundry, a manufacturer of industrial equipment for the tobacco industry. AMF moved into bowling after World War II, when AMF automated bowling equipment and bowling centers became profitable business ventures. Bicycle production was added in 1950. The company was once a major diversified manufacturer of everything from tennis racquets to bowling equipment. Until the mid-1980s, AMF's range of consumer goods included powered model airplanes, snow skis, lawn and garden equipment, Ben Hogan golf clubs, Voit inflatable balls, exercycles and exercise equipment, Hatteras yachts, Alcort sailboats, Nimble bicycles, motorized bicycles, mopeds, and SCUBA gear. At one time, AMF owned Harley Davidson motorcycles. Aging production facilities and increasing quality control problems in some product lines caused sales declines in the late 1970s and early 1980s. The company's vast diversified output proved difficult to efficiently manage, and after suffering a series of losses, the company began to sell off most of its manufacturing operations.

In 1985, a Minnesota-based company called Minstar, Inc. bought AMF Inc. and began to sell its various business divisions. A group of investors in Richmond, Virginia purchased the bowling and billiards division that same year. The new owners began revitalizing the business with a focus on expanding the appeal of bowling to league and casual bowlers.

In 1996 Goldman Sachs led a buyout of the company from William Goodwin in Richmond. The company was listed on the New York Stock Exchange in November 1997. It was delisted in 1998. It entered Chapter 11 bankruptcy in April 2001. Code Hennessy & Simmons bought the bowling company in a $670 million to bring it out of bankruptcy. [2]

In June 2005, AMF Bowling Products and Italian-based Qubica Worldwide announced a 50/50 joint venture. The partnership made QubicaAMF Worldwide one of the largest manufacturers of bowling and amusement products in the world.

The company went into Chapter 11 bankruptcy for the second time in 12 years in November 2012. In its filing the company said there had been a 36 percent decline in league memberships since 1998 and that had it had been unsuccessful in selling assets. The company's bankruptcy plan calls for it to emerge in April 2013.[3] The company noted that it has a small piece of the bowling pie (262 centers) while the majority of the more than 5,000 bowling alleys in the United States are owned by small chains or mom and pop operations.[2]

In June 2012 AMF Hull or Hull Bowl closed down due to the repairs that was needed was more than the center was actually worth.

AMF Worldwide/Qubica is headquartered in Mechanicsville, Virginia, a suburb of Richmond, Virginia.

See also

References

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