Private equity rumours circulate for F45

The fitness trend known as HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) has taken the world by storm, and now one of the industry leaders looks set to cash in.

Los Angeles based fitness franchise, F45 who operate a number of locations throughout Australia, is once again considering selling off a minority stake.

F45 is currently the fastest growing fitness franchise worldwide, with over 550 locations locally and more than 900 established globally in its first four years of operation, placing it as the fourth fastest growing franchise on the planet.

Rob Deutsch, owner and founder of F45 is now reportedly entertaining interest from potential buyers, following in the footsteps of fellow fitness franchises Crunch Fitness and Next Gen Health and Lifestyle.

For F45, the addition of a private equity buyout firm as a minority stakeholder would bolster the franchise’s already steady growth, with the potential to ramp up expansion over the next few years.

While the potential suitors remain nameless, previous sales in the sector would indicate the frontrunners for the minority stake would be U.S. private equity firms, Leonard Green & Partners and Quadrant Private Equity’s Fitness & Lifestyle Group.

Leonard Green & Partners has been involved in a number of similar deals within the fitness industry over the last 12 months, including the highly-publicised purchase of Pure Gym, the UK’s largest gym chain by membership.

Speaking with City A.M. earlier this year, Deutsch suggested the firm was high on the list of prospective buyers.

“Maybe the one [private equity house] that owns Pure would buy us and list the two together,” Deutsch said.

Quadrant on the other hand, has snapped up a number of franchises in the U.S., quickly growing to become the country’s largest gym and leisure owner.

Locally, the private equity firm established itself as a leader in the fitness industry with its initial purchase of Fitness First Australia in 2017, before adding Goodlife Health Clubs, Jetts Australia, Go Health Clubs and Hypoxi to its portfolio.

Based on the sales reported by Goodlife Health Clubs, and comparably sized franchise LA Fitness, the F45 deal could see the brand valued at between $200 million and $250 million.