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Hollywood star Mark Wahlberg buys stake in F45 fitness franchise
Hollywood star and well known fitness enthusiasts Mark Wahlberg’s Mark Wahlberg Investment Group, along with FOD Capital, are buying a minority stake in the F45 Training fitness franchise.
In a deal that, according to Bloomberg values the business at roughly US$450 million, F45, which was founded in Sydney in 2012, will use the capital to fuel its global expansion.
Founder Rob Deutsch said in an interview that F45 had been searching for a strategic partner for more than two years when its patience paid off with Wahlberg, whose Hollywood credits include starring roles in The Departed and The Fighter.
Deutsch advised "Mark has so many traits that we feel align with us.
"He's obviously very into fitness, he's a very shredded man with a very clean brand."
Wahlberg said in an interview that F45's appeal is that it brings such a diverse assortment of people together for a workout that delivers results.
Wahlberg, who first tried the studio last November, advised "I'm a fitness fanatic and I fell in love with F45 after I walked into a gym and saw people from all walks of life, all levels of fitness, working out together.”
The company has more than 1,500 studios in 40 countries and partnerships with more than 20 US universities.
Deutsch advised that it may open as many as 10,000 franchises alone in North America, and also sees opportunity in Europe, Asia and South America.
Adding that he's nearing a deal to offer the workout on a cruise line and is developing a software-based product for hotels Deutsch told Bloomberg “we're selling roughly 50 franchises a month and we're confident it'll ramp up to 70 to 80 a month by the end of 2019 to well over 2,000.”
Wahlberg has other fitness-related investments. He backs StockX, a startup focused on sneaker resales, Aquahydrate, a water brand, and natural workout supplement maker Performance Inspired Nutrition.
F45's revenues and earnings before interest, depreciation, taxes and amortisation have grown at compounded annual rates of more than 125% and 130% since 2016, respectively, to $US62 million and US$23 million at the end of 2018.
Last week, TSG Consumer Partners acquired CorePower Yoga from L Catterton, which is also an investor in fitness companies ClassPass and Peloton. TPG in 2017 formed Xponential Fitness, which owns brands including Club Pilates, Row House and CycleBar.
Bloomberg reported that fitness chains are favoured by retail landlords in the USA who are looking to enhance their experiential offerings to consumers who increasingly buy apparel and other goods online.
Planet Fitness referred to its reputation as a "desired tenant for shopping centres" in a filing earlier this month.
Wahlberg said that F45 will be his "go-to workout" when he's not involved in specific training for acting roles.
FOD Capital is managed by Michael Raymond.
Images: Mark Wahlberg at F45 (top) and on Instagram (below, courtesy of Mark Wahlberg/Instagram).
8th November 2018 - F45 launches new model for youth and over sixties
21st August 2018 - F45 opens London base to drive European expansion
28th July 2017 - F45 becomes Australia’s fastest growing fitness studio network
16th November 2012 - Fit n Fast reveals Hugh Jackman’s backing
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