OWATONNA — A international manufacturer of fitness equipment has acquired an Owatonna manufacturer.
Cybex International Inc., which manufactures treadmills, weights and other workout gear, employs more than 560 workers, including about 316 at its facility in Owatonna. The company was acquired Jan. 21 by Brunswick Corporation, a large company whose holdings includes the Mercury Marine and Boston Whaler recreational boating brands. The Cybex brand will added to the companies Life Fitness product portfolio.
The Owatonna plant already has a key role in Life Fitness’ future plans.
“The Owatonna facility is a state-of-the-art manufacturing spot that’s an hour or so away from our facility in Ramsey, Minn. Our Ramsey facility is over capacity, and is undergoing a $10 million expansion,” Life Fitness President Chris Clawson said Thursday. “The things they do in Owatonna are a lot like what we do in Ramsey, so sharing products and sharing ideas, being able to manufacture in multiple locations, we feel really good about it.”
Cybex, including the Owatonna factory and its sister facility in Medway, Mass., were purchased for $195 million, according to a Life Fitness press release.
Clawson said there are no current plans to add or remove workers beyond normal seasonal workforce fluctuations, but he noted the Owatonna plant could be a candidate for future expansion as well.
“At some point in time we may add brands to [the factory], but for now they’re focused on just manufacturing Cybex products,” he said. “The factory has a tremendous amount of flexibility, because it owns the land to one side and directly behind. If we ever decide to expand, that’s already included in the land itself.”
The Cybex name will remain with the factory and the products it builds.
“We love the brand. We think the brand is one of the premier brands in the industry,” Clawson said. “They’ve been focused on U.S., Canada and Mexico. We see a tremendous opportunity to take the brand as it’s been established here and expand it globally.”
Calls to Cybex were forwarded to Life Fitness for comment, and officials at the city community development department and Owatonna Area Chamber of Commerce and Tourism said they had not yet spoken with the new owners.
“Cybex is always a great employer in Owatonna, and I’ve always appreciated them and continue to appreciate them,” chamber president Jennifer Libby said.