Back    12.12.19

FSN Capital IV* has signed an agreement to sell its majority shareholding in Fitness World

FSN Capital IV and other shareholders have sold 100% of shares in Forward TopCo A/S to PureGym.

Fitness World, which operates in the value gym segment, was founded in 2005 and is one of Europe’s’ leading fitness providers. It is #1 in Denmark and has a growing presence in both Poland and Switzerland. Fitness World has approx. 600,000 members who visit the 240+ clubs more than 30,000,000 times a year. Together with a new management team, FSN Capital has transformed Fitness World from an entrepreneurial company to one of the leading international fitness platforms. The number of members has grown by more than 150,000 since 2014, whilst EBITDA has increased by ~1.7x, and the company has a presence in three European countries providing a platform for expansion in new and existing markets.

“We have been working on the relationship with the founders of Fitness World for several years, and in 2015 we managed to convert this into an exclusive process where we partnered with the founders (who retained 45% of the Company). We are genuinely impressed by what the Fitness World team have achieved, including professionalising the company, building out capabilities across three geographies, while also driving growth and profit improvement initiatives,” said Thomas Broe-Andersen, Partner at FSN Capital Partners, acting as investment adviser to the FSN Capital Funds.

Fitness World CEO Steen Albrechtslund added, “We are thrilled to be joining forces with PureGym and to carry on the growth journey Fitness World has been on for the last 14 years. FSN Capital has been an excellent partner in growth helping us to achieve a lot over the last 4-years. Now the Fitness World team look forward to working with PureGym, the UK’s leading gym operator, and to continued expansion throughout Europe.”

Humphrey Cobbold, CEO of PureGym said, “This transaction brings together two well matched, successful, market-leading businesses and the combination creates a powerful platform from which to accelerate growth and deliver on our social objective to get even more people more active more often. The acquisition of Fitness World is a transformational deal for PureGym and will support our long-held ambition to become a leading international gym and fitness operator.

Fitness World is a business we know well and have long admired. The team there have done an outstanding job in building unparalleled leadership in the highly attractive Danish market with exciting growth positions in Switzerland and Poland. My management team and I are genuinely excited to welcome Steen and all his colleagues in Denmark, Switzerland and Poland to our ‘fitness family’. We firmly believe that there is a great future ahead for all of us.

FSN Capital was advised by Harris Williams, Plesner, Wardynski, Pestalozzi, PwC, and Mckinsey. The transaction is expected to close in January 2020.

* FSN Capital GP IV Limited acting in its capacity as general partner for and on behalf of each of FSN Capital IV L.P., FSN Capital IV (B) L.P. and FSN Capital IV Invest L.P.