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United PF Continues March to Buy Planet Fitness ‘Zees


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Planet Fitness has more than 1,400 clubs and 10 million members.

United PF Partners, winner of a Franchise Times Dealmakers award in 2016 for its complicated and ambitious formation, has added two more acquisitions of Planet Fitness franchisees, in Phoenix and New Orleans, to increase its operating club count by 11 clubs to 78 across 10 states.

Trey Owen, CEO of United PF and the man who led the original roll-up of five different operations to form the company, said in a statement “these club groups are fast-growing, high performance and will fit in nicely with our existing platform.” United PF plans upgrades to existing clubs and the development of new clubs as part of the arrangement.

JLM Financial Partners, a private investment firm, and private equity firm Eagle Merchant Partners are the two investors behind the operation, which is the largest Planet Fitness franchisee in the New Hampshire-based, 1,400-club system.

Andrew Hirsekorn, a principal at Eagle, told Franchise Times last April there were plenty of hurdles to clear to create the original deal, which started when Owen, who owned 25 Planet Fitness clubs in Texas, began talking with fellow franchisees about a roll-up deal.

“You’re basically buying five businesses at one point in time, and then from the financing standpoint, this was one of the largest debt packages within the Planet Fitness system,” Hirsekorn said at the time.

“We had to put together three lenders to underwrite the entire debt package. There was a ton of work on the financing front … To throw in the mix you also had a franchisor that had to give approval.”

This time around, the transaction was presumably easier because it involved the same players and similar incentives for the new operators. The two new franchisees, the Thomas group in Phoenix and the Sinopoli/Hurring/Siragusa group of New Orleans, will retain ownership and leadership roles in United PF.

Financing for United PF was led by Goldman Sachs Specialty Lending Group and AB Private Credit Investors, co-agents and co-lead arrangers, and Antares, co-lead arranger.

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The latest news, opinions and commentary on what's happening in the franchise arena that could affect your business.

Tom KaiserTom Kaiser is associate editor of Franchise Times. He can be reached at 612.767.3209, or send story ideas to tkaiser@franchisetimes.com.
 
Beth EwenBeth Ewen is editor-in-chief of Franchise Times. She can be reached at 612.767.3212, or send story ideas to bewen@franchisetimes.com.
 
Nicholas UptonNicholas Upton is staff writer at Franchise Times. He can be reached at 612.767.3226, or send story ideas to nupton@franchisetimes.com.
 
Mary Jo LarsonLaura Michaels is managing editor of Franchise Times. She can be reached at 612.767.3210, or send story ideas to lmichaels@franchisetimes.com.
 
Mary Jo LarsonMary Jo Larson is the publisher of Franchise Times Magazine and the Restaurant Finance Monitor.  You can find her on Twitter at
 twitter.com/mlarson1011.
 
Nancy WeingartnerNancy Weingartner is editor-at-large of Franchise Times magazine and the editor of the Food On Demand media project. You can reach her at 612-767-3200 or at nancyw@franchisetimes.com.
Follow her on Twitter at http://twitter.com/nanweingartner.
 

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