StairMaster Files Chapter 11

KIRKLAND, Wash. — On Aug. 30, StairMaster Health and Fitness Products Inc. filed a voluntary petition under Chapter 11 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code. According to a company release, this move will allow StairMaster to reorganize and pursue an aggressive turnaround and expansion plan. The filing is also part of StairMaster's plan to sell the company.

Calls to John Rutledge, StairMaster's chairman, were not returned at press time. However, he addressed the bankruptcy filing in a news release: “The tightening of capital markets and the reluctance of banks to lend to middle market companies have made it necessary to reduce StairMaster's debt in this way. Our plan is to close a new credit agreement with our bank and move forward with a new buyer that will infuse the capital necessary to expand our product offerings and achieve the kind of growth this company is capable of.”

The release went on to state that StairMaster is involved in sale negotiations with a “well-respected” company and will announce the sale and purchaser in the not-too-distant future. Once the sale of the company is achieved, StairMaster will reportedly pursue an aggressive plan to develop and launch new products for the commercial fitness market.