Anytime Fitness Asia has been acquired by Inspire Brands Asia (IBA), a consortium of submaster franchisees such as lead investor Exacta Capital Partners; and co-investor Aura Group. The acquisition includes the master franchisee licence in Singapore, Malaysia, Philippines, Indonesia, Thailand, Taiwan, Vietnam, Hong Kong, and Macau, with over 350 locations sold and over 250 gyms opened. Members of the consortium merged their gym management businesses into the group, which operate over 30% of the gyms in Asia.
In the last four years, according to a media statement, Anytime Fitness Asia had compound annual growth rates of 49% in franchise sales and 55% in gym openings. Luke Guanlao, IBA Group CEO and Anytime Fitness Asia COO said after being with the fitness brand for over 10 years, Anytime Fitness is positioned to take advantage of opportunities as gyms reopen and people navigate a new normal.
Meanwhile, Kota Igarashi, CEO, Mizuho Asia Partners, investment advisor to Exacta Capital Partners, said Anytime Fitness Asia set the standard in fitness in value for franchisees and members, and added that its value proposition and model uniquely position it to thrive post-COVID-19.
Agreeing with Igarashi, Charles Wong, Aura Group executive director, said completing the deal involved assessing the brand's capacity to withstand closures, and a long-term outlook on the industry. “Anytime Fitness Asia is proven and capitalises on its smaller footprint in community locations and lower entry and maintenance cost, which ensures gyms will reopen safely and grow post-COVID-19. The brand, the model, and experience of our partners are why Aura is privileged to be part of this landmark deal," he added.
Other than Anytime Fitness, another two gym brands that merged include Celebrity Fitness and Fitness First Asia that are now under the same parent company which known as Evolution Wellness Holdings. The merger which occurred in February 2017, comprised 152 wholly-owned fitness clubs across Asia and saw both organisations retaining its individual brands. The merger combined the management teams in both organisations and served circa 400,000 members with staff strength of approaching 7,000. According to a press statement, Celebrity Fitness and Fitness First Asia recorded revenues of US$76 million and US$219 million respectively for the 2016 financial year.