Nautilus, Inc. has acquired its Canadian distributor in an effort to expand the reach of its Nautilus and StairMaster brands in the specialty and commercial markets, while intensifying the marketing of Bowflex and Schwinn Fitness brands through the direct and retail markets across the country.

NLS will acquire “certain assets and assume certain liabilities” of Belko Canada for approximately $5.5 million in cash. Belko, which is based in Winnepeg, has served as the exclusive Canadian distributor of Bowflex and Schwinn Fitness branded products since 1996. They also operate a call center in Winnipeg to support Bowflex direct sales. Belko will obviously cease distributing other fitness equipment brands.

Don Carson, a Winnipeg native who founded Belko Canada in 1984, will now serve as the Nautilus vice president of specialty, commercial and direct sales for Canada. NLS will relocate the Belko Canada operation into a larger leased later this year.

The deal is expected to be accretive to earnings in 2005.