JLM Financial Partners and Eagle Merchant Partners have created the largest Planet Fitness franchisee, United PF Partners, with 59 operating clubs in nine states.
The joint-venture partnership is aiming to capitalise on the USD30 billion fitness club industry, in which health club memberships increased from 41.3 million in 2005 to 54.1 million in 2014, or 17 per cent penetration of the US population.
Planet Fitness, home of the Judgement Free Zone, with more than 1,200 clubs and over 8.7 million members, targets the remaining 83 per cent of the population by focusing on customer experience and value.
The equity investments from Eagle and JLM will provide capital to fuel club level improvements, organic growth through the development of new clubs, and continue to build out the management team, systems and infrastructure to support the expanding organisation. Additionally, United PF’s capitalisation and scale will provide the opportunity for acquisitive growth in contiguous geographies.
“I’m thrilled to be able to partner with some of the top franchisees in the Planet Fitness system to share best practices and create a leading enterprise,” says Trey Owen, CEO, United PF. “We also are very pleased to join forces with Eagle, which has deep experience in building and leading large scale multi-unit franchise businesses.”
Stockton Croft of Eagle adds: “This will be the ninth multi-unit investment made by the partners of Eagle and we are fully committed to the success of this great franchise in the Planet Fitness system.”
“This was a very complex transaction that could not have been accomplished without the tremendous support we received from everyone involved in this merger including the executive and legal team at Planet Fitness Corporate based in New Hampshire,” says Larry Meyer of JLM.
Financing for United PF was jointly led by co-agents and co-lead arrangers, Goldman Sachs Specialty Lending Group and AB Private Credit Investors. Antares was also a co-lead arranger.