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BowFlex files for bankruptcy

New York CNN  —  Peloton isn’t the only at-home exercise equipment company feeling the pain: BowFlex is too, announcing Tuesday that it has filed for bankruptcy. The nearly four-decade old company, best known for commercials that were a staple of late-night television in the 1990s, filed for Chapter 11 and said Johnson Health Tech, a Taiwan-based company, would “acquire substantially all of the assets” for $37.5 million in cash. BowFlex blamed its bankruptcy on the “post-pandemic environment and persistent macroeconomic headwinds” and said it received interest from “multiple” companies but chose Johnson Health Tech because it will “maximize value for our stakeholders through this process.” A $25 million debtor-in-possession financing will allow BowFlex (BFX) to operate normally and keep its employees paid. Shares of the penny stock fell 5% in premarket trading. Johnson Health Tech makes similar exercise equipment under the Matrix, Horizon Fitness and Vision Fitness brands. It also has nearly 500 global locations of its retail store using the Johnson name. Washington-based BowFlex makes several products, including treadmills, ellipticals and its well-known home-gym contraption that lets people do more than 70 weight-based exercises. In November, parent company Nautilus rebranded itself with the BowFlex name in hopes of attracting new users to an identity “synonymous with home fitness.” Makers of home-based fitness equipment have struggled following the pandemic, as Americans rushed back to the gym; along with the increasing popularity of weight-loss drugs. Peloton said last month that its turnaround plan isn’t going as planned and NordicTrack-owner iFit scrapped its plans to go public in 2022.