Planet Fitness Franchisee National Fitness Partners Grows Footprint, Acquires 16 Clubs in Ohio and Pennsylvania
Posted: January 27, 2021 in Chains
CAMP HILL, PA, CHARLOTTE, N.C. and ATLANTA, GA – Planet Fitness franchisee National Fitness Partners (“NFP” or the “company”) has announced the acquisition of 16 Planet Fitness clubs, including 15 locations in the greater Cleveland and Akron-Canton, Ohio markets and one location in central Pennsylvania from two different sellers (the “transaction”). The transaction, which was financed with junior capital from funds managed by the Credit Group of Ares Management Corporation (“Ares”), strategically expands NFP’s growing footprint, which now includes 94 Planet Fitness clubs with exclusive rights to develop 40 plus additional clubs in Pennsylvania, Ohio, Delaware, North Carolina and South Carolina. NFP is a portfolio company of Argonne Capital Group, LLC (“Argonne”), the Atlanta-based private investment firm.
“We remain bullish on the near-term recovery prospects and long-term growth of the Planet Fitness brand, as encouraging membership and utilization trends continue to point to a successful emergence from the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Stephen Kindler Jr., president and CEO of National Fitness Partners. “This significant investment will expand our reach into important new markets and strengthen our efforts to ensure more people have access to low-cost fitness options, as we believe regular exercise plays an essential role in enhancing the physical, mental and emotional wellbeing of our members.”
“This transaction is a unique opportunity that will enable NFP to strengthen its base business and diversify its existing geographic footprint and cash flow, while positioning the company for considerable growth opportunities as the COVID-19 pandemic recedes,” said Layton Grisette, managing director of Argonne Capital.
This transaction represents the seventh acquisition for NFP, which was founded in 2016 in partnership with Argonne to acquire 10 Planet Fitness locations in central Pennsylvania from the Kindler family. The Kindlers have been involved in the fitness industry since 1967 and legacy Planet Fitness franchisees since 2005, when the family converted two gyms in Harrisburg, Pa. to Planet Fitness.
“This financing enables NFP to complete a highly strategic transaction,” said Joe Carvalho, managing director in the Credit Group of Ares Management. “We have been impressed with how Planet Fitness and NFP have performed throughout the COVID-19 pandemic and are pleased to support this team of experienced operators.”
In connection with the transaction, King & Spalding LLP served as legal advisor to NFP and Argonne. Additionally, Lathrop GPM, LLP, Ernst & Young LLP, McGuireWoods LLP and Smith & Howard, P.C. served as advisors to NFP and Argonne. Fifth Third Securities, Inc. served as NFP and Argonne’s exclusive financial advisor. Proskauer Rose, LLP served as legal advisor to Ares.