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F45 Training moving towards New York Stock Exchange listing with potential US$1.5 billion valuation

F45 Training moving towards New York Stock Exchange listing with potential US$1.5 billion valuation
July 7, 2021

Australian-founded fitness franchise F45 Training is moving towards a listing on the New York Stock Exchange with a potential valuation of more than US$1.5 billion in its initial public offering.

Now headquartered in Austin, Texas and with Hollywood star Mark Wahlberg as a shareholder, media reports suggest that the IPO will see an initial 20.3 million shares offered to the public at an expected US$15- to US$17-a-share price range to raise up to $345 million.

About 1.6 million shares in the IPO are being offered by the selling stockholder, the proceeds of which would not go to the company.

Founded in Sydney in 2013 in Australia now operates more than 2,500 studios franchises across in 63 countries.

It plans to primarily use its IPO proceeds to repay debt, grant employee bonuses and cover the upcoming acquisition of the Flywheel indoor-cycling chain’s assets, with remaining funds will go to general corporate purposes.

In 2019, Wahlberg and private equity fund FOD Capital led a private equity investment in F45 through MWIG, a private investment vehicle. According to the New York Stock Exchange filing, Wahlberg owns about 26% of MGIW.

F45 announced its plans to list on the US-based NASDAQ stock exchange in June 2020, after securing a deal with Crescent Acquisition Corporation (CAC), a special purpose acquisition company.

The two companies then terminated their agreement last October, with F45 Chief Executive Adam Gilchrist saying that approaching the public markets at the time "was not the right option for F45".

However, the company now advises “we believe there is a significant opportunity to meaningfully expand our franchise studio footprint in the United States.”

In the filing F45 Training explained that it plans to open up to 7,000 studios in the US and 23,000 globally, adding, in a statement "as of March 31, 2021, we had 941 franchises sold and 518 total studios in the US.

"Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, we had seen the pace of our US growth accelerate with average net franchises sold per month increasing from 12 in 2017 to 18 in 2018 to 32 in 2019.

"Due to COVID-19, the average net franchises sold per month decreased in 2020 to 10.

"Based on current franchises sold in Australia per capita as of March 31, 2021, we believe there is long-term studio potential for us to open over 7,000 studios in the US.

"As of March 31, 2021, we had 630 franchises sold outside of our core markets of the United States and Australia. Based on an extrapolation of current franchises sold in Australia per capita as of March 31, 2021, we believe there is a long-term global opportunity for over 23,000 studios, with a potential for approximately 16,000 studios outside of the US market.

"We believe we can continue to grow our international presence through our existing franchising strategy and by opportunistically pursuing master franchising agreements to sell select territories to experienced, local partners."

The filing also offers an insight into the effects the COVID-19 pandemic and the subsequent lockdowns have had on international fitness operators like F45.

As of 31st March, the company had approximately 1,286 open studios, which represented 86 per cent of its total estate. The remaining 14% were located in regions that continue to face restrictions.

F45 saw revenues decrease to US$82.3 million for the year ended 31st December 2020 - compared to US$92.7 million at the end of 2019.

The F45 statement added “we believe our performance over the course of the pandemic has underscored the resilience of our business model.”

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3rd February 2021 - Gavin Aquilina joins Luke Istomin’s RE:Union training venture

15th January 2021 - F45 Browns Plains confirms that it no longer employs convicted trainer

21st December 2020 - F45 ends listing plans but keeps up legal action against competitor Body Fit Training

9th November 2020 - F45 recognised again for delivering highest level of customer satisfaction

9th October 2020 - Body Fit Training and F45 ramp up legal battle over patents

26th June 2020 - F45 reveals plans for listing on US NASDAQ exchange

11th June 2020 - F45 Training partners with Glofox for international franchisee expansion

1st June 2020 - F45 Studios in New Zealand anticipate member surge

30th January 2020 - MINDBODY and F45 Training finalise new global agreement

21st January 2020 - F45 looks at US stock market listing

17th December 2019 - F45 Training takes legal action against Body Fit Training over alleged patent infringement

28th October 2019 - F45 Jimboomba helps members reach goals with EVOLT 360 technology

5th July 2019 - F45 to open studios in Afghanistan and Iraq

7th June 2019 - F45 Training takes on direct operations of Gold Coast facility

6th June 2019 - F45 tops Canstar Blue gym ratings for a second year

19th March 2019 - Hollywood star Mark Wahlberg buys stake in F45 fitness franchise

8th November 2018 - F45 launches new model for youth and over sixties

21st August 2018 - F45 opens London base to drive European expansion

5th April 2018 - Survey identifies F45 as providing highest level of customer satisfaction among Australian gyms

9th March 2018 - F45 Playoffs to test speed, strength, agility, endurance, mobility and power

20th August 2017 - Daniel Conn leaves F45 Training for Wellness Director role with the Collective Wellness Group

28th July 2017 - F45 becomes Australia’s fastest growing fitness studio network

25th June 2017 - F45 expands UK presence with 50 franchises sold

17th February 2017 - F45 Training nears 100 sites in the USA

28th September 2016 - F45 founder launches ‘Netflix’ of fitness

20th July 2016 - F45 Training set to reach 700 franchises worldwide

22nd June 2016 - F45 continues expansion with first Indian studio opening

21st April 2016 - Australian Institute of Fitness agrees career partnership with F45 Training

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