TITAN FITNESS SECURES BACKING FROM LEADING PRIVATE EQUITY FUND TO PURCHASE AND DEVELOP GOLD’S GYM FRANCHISES NATIONWIDE
Titan Fitness (Titan) announced today that it has secured private equity backing and has become one of the largest franchise owners of Gold's Gym locations in the United States. The investment was led by WestView Capital Partners (WestView), a $200 million private equity fund based in Boston, Mass., and included participation by National City Equity Partners, a Cleveland, Ohio-based private equity fund - and WestView fund investor - with more than $1 billion of capital under management.
"Through our partnership with WestView, my partners and I will be able to achieve our long-term growth objectives as Gold's Gym franchisees," said Jeff Skeen, President and CEO of Titan Fitness. "It is an exciting time for our company as the only Gold's Gym franchisee supported by institutional private equity. Now, we are well positioned to purchase and build health club chains to accomplish and hopefully exceed our plan."
According to Skeen, Titan expects to grow its Gold's Gym portfolio to more than 60 open locations nationwide during the next five years.
"Our philosophy is to invest equity capital to support outstanding management teams in realizing the strategic, financial and operational objectives of their businesses," said John Turner, General Partner of WestView Capital Partners. Added WestView principal Matt Carroll, "Titan's leadership team exemplifies the type of management we seek to partner with - enthusiastic and experienced people with entrepreneurial spirit."
With private equity financing secured, the Titan team, which includes AJ Mushtaq, Chief Financial Officer; Dal Clayton, Chief Operating Officer; Aaron Lieberman, Chief Development Officer; and Josh Harwood, Senior Vice President of Operations, intends to purchase health club chains with strong management teams in place that have a focus on growth. Titan will provide the processes, systems and tools necessary for each regional management team to effectively operate as a top-tier fitness franchise in their respective markets. Titan also plans to construct new Gold's Gyms in attractive growth markets throughout the country to support its acquisitions.
"We celebrate the fact that Titan and WestView Capital together have made a significant investment in the Gold's Gym brand," said Keith Albright, Senior Vice President of Gold's Gym International. "This is a powerful endorsement of our franchise opportunity."
In 2007, Titan hired M&T Investment Banking Group - a division of M&T Bank, one of the country's top 20 commercial banks - to assist in raising funding for its growth strategy. "The combination of Titan's seasoned leadership team, their proven and well-developed growth strategy, plus the strength of the Gold's Gym brand resulted in significant market interest, with WestView emerging as a terrific, well-capitalized partner," said Rob White, Managing Director of M&T Investment Banking Group.
About Titan Fitness
Established by former Gold's Gym International executives, franchisees and a former PricewaterhouseCoopers director, Titan was founded to build the largest Gold's Gym franchise in the world. The Titan executives have more than 50 years of direct experience in the fitness industry, including the private equity backed acquisition and expansion of Gold's Gym International in 1999 with, then owner, Brockway Moran and Partners.
About Gold's Gym
Established in Venice, Calif. in 1965, Gold's Gym is the largest co-ed gym chain in the world with over 620 locations in 42 states and 26 countries. Gold's Gym also operates online at goldsgym.com and goldsgear.com. Gold's Gym offers the latest equipment and services, including group exercise, personal training, cardiovascular equipment, spinning, Pilates and yoga, while maintaining its core weight lifting tradition. With nearly 3 million members worldwide, Gold's Gym continues to change lives by helping people achieve their individual potential.
About WestView Capital Partners
WestView Capital Partners is a private equity firm focused exclusively on lower middle market companies. WestView partners with existing management teams to sponsor minority and majority recapitalization, growth, buyout and consolidation transactions. The firm finances North American companies in a wide range of industries. Its industries of interest include business and technology services, industrial and manufacturing, healthcare services, consumer and retail, distribution and logistics, media/publishing and financial services. WestView targets companies with operating profits between $3 million and $15 million with investment sizes ranging from $5 million to $25 million. WestView is located in Boston, Massachusetts and more information is available at www.wvcapital.com.