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Plus Fitness co-founder reflects on ‘incredible journey’ as Viva Leisure acquires master franchisor

Plus Fitness co-founder reflects on ‘incredible journey’ as Viva Leisure acquires master franchisor
July 23, 2020

With the announcement that Viva Leisure is to acquire the business for a sum of up to $20 million, Nigel Miller, co-founder of Australian Fitness Management, the master franchisor of Plus Fitness, has commented on the “incredible journey” he and co-founder John Fuller have been on since opening their first club in 1996.

The acquisition, which will see Viva Leisure expand to operate 280 owned and franchised clubs comprising over 270,000 members, includes Plus Fitness’ franchised clubs - 190 in Australia, three in New Zealand, four in India – as well as 40 territories that have already been sold

Miller explained “it has been an incredible journey for John and I (since) opening the first Plus Fitness back in 1996.

“(We) have collectively taken six health clubs to what is now 196 gyms across three countries.

“The decision to sell has of course not been an easy one however we believe Viva Leisure are the right operators for the task being an equally progressive and driven company and that they will serve our franchisees well.

“John and I will be retaining executive positions in the business to assist with the transition of ownership and the continued growth of the network.

“In addition, we are also retaining our own portfolio of 12 Plus Fitness franchises which we intend to build on over the coming months and years. So, in short, we will remain a big part of Plus Fitness for many years to come.”

Expanding on comments made yesterday about the acquisition, Viva Leisure’s Chief Executive and Managing Director, Harry Konstantinou, added “we are excited to be acquiring such a successful and well-respected brand as Plus Fitness.

“John and Nigel have done an excellent job in growing the business to where it is today.

“Viva Leisure believes that it can use many of its bespoke and in-house developed systems to help continue the growth of the entire Plus Fitness network, while at the same time ensuring there are financial and other benefits to franchisees. 

“Viva Leisure knows that a successful franchise network only occurs when both franchisor and franchisee are achieving and succeeding.”

Australia’s only ASX-listed fitness operator with more than 100 locations, pre-Coronavirus Viva Leisure reported a 52.7% increase in revenue for the first half of FY20 and a 79.8% increase in earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation.

Restrictions and lockdown period saw all of the company’s operations in Australia close for around 10 weeks. As a result, Viva reported a 100% reduction in revenue over the period from April to May 2020.

The company was forced to cancel all casual shifts and reduce its permanent staffing in late March.

In early June, Viva completed a $25 million equity raising in order to provide the company with financial strength and flexibility to function.

Last week, it released a positive market update informing shareholders on the company’s recent performance, advising that its clubs been trading above management’s expectations following their re-opening.

It announced that 94% of its locations are either operating or undergoing scheduled refurbishment and will re-open shortly.

Images: Plus Fitness founders Nigel Miller and John Fuller (top) and Viva Leisure’s Chief Executive and Managing Director Harry Konstantinou (below).

Related Articles

22nd July 2020 - Viva Leisure acquires Plus Fitness’ master franchisor for $20 million

17th July 2020 - Reopening approved for Plus Fitness Campbelltown following temporary COVID-19 closure

19th June 2020 - Plus Fitness opens three new clubs across two states

15th June 2020 - Fitness Australia calls for national consistency in state government gym reopenings

15th June 2020 - New Queensland retail centre to feature Viva Leisure brands

25th May 2020 - Viva Leisure prepares for gym reopenings

7th April 2020 - Two-thirds of the world’s fitness clubs are currently closed

26th March 2020 - Viva Leisure sheds more than 1,000 staff in 48 hours

2nd March 2020 - Viva Leisure reports ongoing growth and reveals new boutique brand

14th February 2020 - Viva Leisure opens new sites and completes Fit n Fast Health Clubs acquisition

12th November 2019 - Viva Leisure expands Queensland operations with addition of two more Healthworks clubs

16th October 2019 - Viva Leisure enters Queensland market with acquisition of eight Healthworks Fitness Centres

28th August 2019 - Viva Leisure 2018/19 financial results exceed prospectus forecasts

22nd July 2019 - Viva Leisure follows ASX listing with acquisition of Fitness 24/7 clubs

8th June 2019 - Investors welcome Viva Leisure’s ASX listing

17th February 2020 - Plus Fitness opens first Canberra gym

31st January 2020 - Plus Fitness opens latest Indian gym in South Mumbai

14th November 2019 - Plus Fitness extends partnership with Penrite Honda Racing Australia

9th September 2019 - Plus Fitness growth continues with Australian and international openings

5th April 2018 - Plus Fitness opens first two clubs in India

11th December 2017 - Plus Fitness joins forces with Allied Fitness Australia

16th November 2017 - Plus Fitness opens 30th club in Western Australia

3rd November 2017 - Plus Fitness franchisee honoured at Western Australian Volunteer of the Year Awards

24th August 2017 - Rocket Agency’s Plus Fitness project wins Google Premier Partner Display Innovation Award

5th March 2017 - Plus Fitness moves towards 150 gym openings

1st December 2015 - Plus Fitness launches in New Zealand

6th March 2012 - Plus Fitness 24/7 opens 20th outlet

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