HARRISBURG, PA & ATLANTA, GA – April 1, 2016 – Argonne Capital Group, LLC (“Argonne Capital” or “Argonne”) today announced that a newly-formed affiliate, National Fitness Partners (“NFP” or the “Company”), undertook a majority recapitalization of a 10-unit Planet Fitness franchisee headquartered in Harrisburg, PA. The franchisee’s sellers include the Kindler family, who are veterans of the fitness industry, and Julie Morrison, the franchisee’s director of Marketing and Community Outreach, all of whom will own a meaningful portion of the newly created entity and will continue to manage the go-forward business alongside Argonne. The Company’s operations will remain in Harrisburg, PA.
Founded in 1992 in Dover, N.H., Planet Fitness (NYSE: PLNT) is one of the largest and fastest-growing franchisors and operators of fitness centers in the United States by number of members and locations. With more than 1,100 locations in 47 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, Canada, and the Dominican Republic, Planet Fitness’ mission is to enhance people’s lives by providing a high-quality fitness experience in a welcoming, non-intimidating environment, which Planet Fitness calls the Judgement Free Zone®.
“Argonne has long admired the scale, value-orientation and positive customer experience provided by the Planet Fitness system,” said Layton Grisette, Principal at Argonne Capital Group. “In joining forces with the Kindlers on this transaction, we believe we’ve found a great partner to enable National Fitness Partners to achieve considerable growth through acquisitions of other Planet Fitness franchisees and through new unit development in existing and new territories. We are thrilled to be joining such a dominant brand and to be partnering with an experienced management team.”
“We started with one gym in the Planet Fitness system in 2007 and have grown our footprint to 10 locations serving over 65,000 members across Central Pennsylvania,” said Frank Kindler, President of National Fitness Partners. “With this new Argonne partnership, we see tremendous potential to continue our growth trajectory without losing sight of our main objective – offering our members an affordable and inviting gym experience that will keep them coming back.”
With this acquisition, Argonne Capital has completed 18 acquisitions in the multi-unit restaurant, retail and service sectors. Today Argonne’s portfolio spans over 1,000 locations covering brands such as IHOP, Applebee’s, Krystal, On The Border, Lube Stop and Planet Fitness. Today, Argonne’s portfolio of companies employs over 32,000 people and generates in excess of $1.6 billion in annual system-wide sales.
King & Spalding, McGuireWoods LLP, Gray Plant Mooty and Asenti Diligence Partners advised Argonne Capital Group. The Mclean Group and DLA Piper advised the Kindler family and other selling shareholders.
About Argonne Capital Group
Founded in 2003, Argonne Capital Group is a closely-held private investment firm that seeks to make control equity investments in a diverse range of middle market enterprises, including those in the multiunit restaurant, retail and service industries. Argonne also has a significant presence in multi-tenant retail real estate through its RCG Ventures platform. Unlike traditional private equity firms, Argonne independently capitalizes each investment it makes, allowing the firm meaningful flexibility in the types of transactions it pursues and an indefinite time horizon for its ownership of any given asset. The firm targets equity investments of $25 – $100 million per transaction.
For more information, please visit www.argonnecapital.com
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