WOODINVILLE, WA — Precor has been on a post-holiday shopping spree. Last month, the company spent $33.8 million purchasing both Fitness Products International (FPI) and ClubCom, including its CardioTheater division.

Through its parent company, Precor acquired FPI for $11.8 million. FPI serves the commercial market with a range of strength products marketed primarily under the Icarian brand along with the Abench, Flite, Stretch Center and Jade brands.

“Precor is bullish on the fitness industry, and we see great opportunity in adding FPI to the Precor team. This adds to Precor's momentum and is a major step in building a full-line offering suited for a consolidating market,” said Precor President Paul J. Byrne. “What we have is a perfect strategic fit of complementary companies, adding great people and an outstanding strength line to Precor leadership in cardio products and established international distribution. Together, we're a single source for products and services to better meet market needs.”

With minimal redundancy of products, staff or facilities, Byrne expects a smooth integration, and no major changes at either company as a result of the acquisition.

FPI president and CEO Rick Wallace said the acquisition provides FPI with greater stability, opportunity and growth. Wallace will remain as the strength group's general manager.

Hot on the heels of the FPI transaction, Precor acquired ClubCom and its CardioTheater division for $22 million, seeing entertainment hardware as a key to its “total product” vision.

“ClubCom and Cardio Theater add a technology backbone to Precor's promise of fitness industry leadership through a ‘total product’ of value-added services,” said Byrne. “We have an aggressive growth plan, and with the backing and resources of our parent company, Amer Group, we're concentrating on global leadership through a broader range of products and services than seen in the market today.”

Precor is purchasing ClubCom's technology and content divisions while ClubCom's advertising division is being spun off as a separate company owned by a group of ClubCom investors. In addition to the in-house promotional advertising, external advertisers can purchase spots during ClubCom programming. Precor plans for Cardio Theater and ClubCom to offer open platform systems available to manufacturers, clubs and fitness facilities.

ClubCom will operate as an independent subsidiary and will collaborate with Precor on new technologies, such as Precor's InSite wireless information service for club and facility management.

Tom Lapcevic, ClubCom founder and president, said that the fitness equipment market is a narrow offering today compared to total product possibilities.

”Today, entertainment is the most visible and accepted technology, but both in terms of capability or market penetration, we've only scratched the surface,” he said. “Entertainment technology will maintain its primacy in the short term, but soon it will be joined, and perhaps surpassed, by additional technology-driven services that benefit the fitness facility and its members.”

ClubCom will maintain operations at its Pittsburgh facility.