Bowltech and QubicaAMF announce potential transaction

    06/22/12

    Industry News

    The two companies have entered into a non-binding letter of intent for Bowltech to purchase QubicaAMF, which would result in the largest bowling products company in the world

    BowltechLogo.jpg2011QubicaAMFLogo.jpgBowltech International B.V. and QubicaAMF Worldwide, SarL announced today that they have entered into a non-binding letter of intent for Bowltech to acquire QubicaAMF for an undisclosed cash purchase price.

    The proposed transaction remains subject to due diligence and various other conditions, including full agreement on definitive transaction documentation.

    The combination of Bowltech and QubicaAMF will result in the largest bowling products company in the world.

    In addition to the industry leading line of QubicaAMF products such as BES Scoring, the Conqueror Pro Management Control System and the XLi EDGE pinspotter, the company plans to offer many of the leading brands of products currently sold by Bowltech to its customers in the European market.

    In order to complete the transaction, Bowltech has partnered with a Dutch family investment office, Driestar. A Driestar spokesman stated that Driestar makes long term investments in financially sound companies and believes strongly in investing in innovation, people and products.

    2012BowltechHansKrol.jpgHe went on to say that the combination of Bowltech and QubicaAMF is a great opportunity and that his firm is happy to be a part of the potential new venture.

    Hans Krol (pictured left), the owner of Bowltech stated, "I have believed for many years that QubicaAMF and Bowltech represented a perfect marriage of two companies. We have similar beliefs and company cultures and complementary skills in the marketplace.

    "I began talking to QubicaAMF about a potential combination of our two companies almost five years ago. It has taken a long time to reach this point, and we are not quite finished yet, but I am very close to making a dream come true.

    2012QAMFCEOJohnWalker.jpg "I have asked John Walker to serve as the CEO of our new combined company. John and I have developed a very close relationship over the past few years and I have full confidence that together with the rest of the management team we will accomplish great things."

    The two parties decided to go forward with an announcement at this time due to the upcoming gathering of many people from the bowling industry in Reno, NV for International Bowl Expo. John Walker (right), the CEO of QubicaAMF said, "We are very excited about the prospect of joining forces with Bowltech. Hans has enjoyed a tremendous amount of success over the past twenty five years in the bowling industry.

    2012QAMFPresidentPatCiniello.jpgHe fully understands the business and what is required to succeed. Hans believes in investing in people and products to build the strength of a company for the long term and he is committed to the same high standards of customer service that we try to deliver at QubicaAMF. I look forward to working with Hans and the rest of the team from both QubicaAMF and Bowltech for years to come."

    Krol also stated that he has asked Pat Ciniello (left) to continue to serve as the President of the new company's U.S. subsidiary and to join the Board for the new combined company after the transaction closes.

    "Pat is one of the best businessmen I have ever met and he has been critical to the success of QubicaAMF in the U.S. marketplace. I am very happy that he has accepted my offer to continue working with us in the future. He understands both the bowling product and center operations sides of the business and that will be a great benefit to our future company."

    Ciniello replied, "I am convinced that combining QubicaAMF and Bowltech is the right thing to do for the future of both companies. Hans and his investment partner, Driestar, are long term investors who will do the right things for the future of both the company and the bowling industry. There are still a few hurdles to clear, but I cannot wait to get started with this new venture."

    Emanuele Govoni, Executive Vice-President and Chief Marketing Officer of QubicaAMF said, "Since Qubica was founded in 1993 my partners and I have always worked to do what was best for our company and the bowling industry. We believe that joining forces with Bowltech in the near future will provide the platform to drive future growth for our company. I look forward to working with Hans and the rest of the team on completing the transaction and moving forward with integrating the two companies."

    The new company will employ over 600 people and will have worldwide headquarters just outside of Richmond, Virginia and European headquarters in Made, The Netherlands.

    The existing QubicaAMF operations in Bologna, Italy and Lowville, New York will continue to develop and produce the QubicaAMF line of scoring/management control products and pins respectively. Few changes are expected in either location.

    QubicaAMF has changed the bowling industry many times in the past, beginning with the first mass produced automatic pinspotter introduced by AMF (a predecessor company to QubicaAMF) in 1946.

    AMF also created the first automatic scoring system for the industry while Qubica revolutionized the automatic scoring and management control segments of the industry, growing from a small startup company to the international market share leader in only a few years.

    During conversations both Krol and Walker stressed the company's on-going commitment to investing in new product development as a key to success for both the company and the industry.

    Nick Keppe, Krol's long-time associate and the manager of the Bowltech operations in the U.K. summed up the future by saying, "Hans is the hardest working most focused individual I have ever known. He is extremely capable and creative in finding win/win solutions for everyone involved in an issue.

    "It is going to be great fun to work with Hans, John, Pat and the rest of the team as we bring Hans' unique entrepreneurial approach to problem solving to the global bowling products business."