If you're a fan of knocking down pins, this company is right down your alley. AMF Bowling Worldwide is a leading operator of bowling centers with more than 300 locations in about 35 states. Operated through subsidiary AMF Bowling Centers, the chain offers league and non-league bowling, along with video games, billiards, and other amusements. AMF's activity centers also offer food and beverage service and sell bowling gear. In addition to its chain of bowling centers, the company owns 50% of QubicaAMF Worldwide, a joint venture with Italian manufacturer Qubica that sells such bowling center equipment as refurbished pinsetters and scoring systems. AMF Bowling is controlled by investment firm Code Hennessy.
Bowling still has a dedicated following in some parts of the country but the industry is largely fragmented with many independent local operations dotting the landscape. AMF is one of only a small number of bowing center chain operators still in business. Its nearest competitor, Brunswick, runs about 100 facilities while much smaller Bowl America has locations mostly along the Eastern Seaboard.
The industry is competing for attention against an ever expanding universe of alternative activities, from television and video games to organized sports such as soccer. AMF and other operators are even seeing new entrants in the bowing arena offering an upscale and hip environment. To try and draw in new customers, AMF is focused on promoting its facilities as destinations for families, parties, and corporate events.
Code Hennessy acquired the business for about $670 million in 2004. – less