The newly-appointed chief executive officer of Evansville-based Escalade Inc. (Nasdaq: ESCA) says he plans to continue the company’s growth, especially after a major acquisition announced this week. Walt Glazer was named CEO last month after serving in the role on an interim basis for 10 months. Less than two weeks later, Escalade announced it had entered into an agreement to acquire Brunswick Billiards, a move Glazer says will make the company a leader in the billiards space.
In an interview with Inside INdiana Business, Glazer said Escalade has the ability to further grow the more than 175-year-old Brunswick brand.
“Focus and attention, in my experience of business, is key,” said Glazer. “There’s a lot that we can bring to Brunswick and there’s a lot that Brunswick can bring to Escalade. So, we’re excited about taking the best practices using the Escalade corporate strength and leverage and then just the incredible Brunswick brand heritage.”
Brunswick joins other billiards brands under the Escalade umbrella, including American Legend, which offers tables through big box retailers, and the American Heritage brand, which Escalade acquired in 2020. The company also owns Cue & Case, which sells billiards accessories primarily to specialty dealers.
“Between the tables and accessories and the three brands – the ‘good, better, best’ levels – this is a formidable lineup and we’re really excited about it and look forward to combining the strengths of these three businesses,” said Glazer.
Glazer’s history with Escalade dates back to 1991 when he became a shareholder in the company. He joined the company’s board of directors in 2015 and became chairman in 2018.
He says his short-term goal is to do anything he can to help his general managers continue to be successful.
“We’ve had an incredible run over the last couple years and they’ve knocked the ball out the park,” Glazer said. “Our revenues were up 50% in 2020 and we’ve continued to build market share and grow our businesses. I want to help support them by supporting their product development, their consumer outreach and leveraging Escalade’s corporate strengths.”
In addition to the billiards brands, Escalade offers equipment for a variety of sports, including basketball, pickleball, table tennis and more.
In its most recent earnings report, Escalade says demand for the company’s products continues, but that is being offset by increasing transportation costs, raw material costs, inventory handling costs and other expenses. However, the company’s year-to-date net sales were up nearly 21% through the third quarter of 2021.
Editor’s Note: A previous version of this story said the Brunswick acquisition had been completed.