Brunswick Bowling & Billiards will shift bowling pin production from its Antigo, Wis., facility to a contract manufacturer, resulting in the immediate closure of the Antigo facility. Brunswick has chosen QubicaAMF to make Brunswick's full line of bowling pins at the manufacturer's plant in Lowville, N.Y.

“The marketplace has evolved, and the industry has more capacity to provide pins than it can support,” explained Warren N. Hardie, president of Brunswick Bowling & Billiards. “By utilizing contract manufacturing, Brunswick will be able to better focus its efforts on serving customers in the global bowling products market.”

Hardie added that Brunswick Bowling & Billiards expects that this action will be largely transparent to customers, as Brunswick will continue to offer both its Brunswick and Vulcan brands to the worldwide bowling center market. It also will continue to offer a full line of equipment for bowling center construction and upgrades as well as full lines of consumer and aftermarket products for the bowling industry.

The closing of the Antigo facility will result in the elimination of approximately 70 positions. Antigo employees were informed of this action today, and will receive severance and other benefits. The company will be meeting with local union bargaining agents to determine those benefits for union members. Further, Brunswick will continue to pay employees for the next 60 days, even though the plant will be immediately closed, allowing employees to focus their energies on finding their next job, if that is what they so choose.

Closing the Antigo plant is expected to result in charges of approximately $4.5 million in 2008.