published Friday, December 16th, 2011

PlayCore buys 7th company

Chattanooga-based playground equipment maker PlayCore announced its seventh acquisition in three years on Thursday with the purchase of an Indiana company.

PlayCore purchased National Recreation Systems of Fort Wayne, a designer and maker of angle-frame bleacher systems.

Bob Farnsworth, PlayCore's chief executive, said the company sees opportunities to grow its bleacher and grandstand business with the acquisition.

He said National Recreation has a full line of nonelevated, low-rise, tip-and-roll and transportable bleachers.

"NRS provides a meaningful increase in product offering to support PlayCore's mission of building communities through play," Farnsworth said.

The acquisition price wasn't disclosed.

Anne-Marie Spencer, PlayCore's vice president of marketing, said NRS has about 50 employees. Operations will continue in its 100,000-square-foot plant in Fort Wayne.

PlayCore, part of Irving Place Capital, has about 65 employees in Chattanooga and several hundred workers at a Fort Payne, Ala., production plant.

Since February 2008, PlayCore has purchased Robertson Industries, Ultra Play, Everlast Climbing, GT Grandstands, Big-Toys and Spectrum Products.

about Mike Pare...

Mike Pare, the deputy Business editor at the Chattanooga Times Free Press, has worked at the paper for 27 years. In addition to editing, Mike also writes Business stories and covers Volkswagen, economic development and manufacturing in Chattanooga and the surrounding area. In the past he also has covered higher education. Mike, a native of Fort Lauderdale, Fla., received a bachelor’s degree in communications from Florida Atlantic University. he worked at the Rome News-Tribune before ...

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