Asian private-equity firm CDIB Capital International is weighing a sale of its minority stake in Taiwanese gym chain World Fitness Services Ltd., according to people with knowledge of the matter.
CDIB Capital International is working with an adviser on a potential stake sale in World Gym Taiwan, as the firm is known, which could fetch about $400 million, the people said. That would give the company an enterprise value of more than $1 billion, the people said.
Other private-equity firms that own gym chains could be interested in the stake, the people said, asking not to be identified because the matter is private. Sale considerations are preliminary and no final decision has been made, they said.
A representative for CDIB Capital Group, the parent company of CDIB Capital International, said the firm does not comment on any investment or transaction decisions of its portfolio companies. A representative for World Gym did not respond to requests for comment.
Founded in 2001, World Gym Taiwan is the largest fitness franchise in Taiwan, with more than 80 clubs and more than 400,000 active members, according to its website. World Gym International, the U.S. company that licenses the World Gym brand, traces its origins to a chain of gyms in California associated with the rise of bodybuilding culture in the 1970s. Regular customers included Arnold Schwarzenegger and Lou Ferrigno.
CDIB Capital International, which manages about $1.2 billion of assets, bought a minority stake in World Gym Taiwan along with other co-investors in 2017 for an undisclosed amount. The company had intended to prepare for an initial public offering, according to a CDIB Capital International statement announcing the investment.
Private-equity firms have been snapping up gyms amid growing demand for fitness services in Asia in recent years. FountainVest Partners and Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan Board jointly acquired Pure Group, a yoga and fitness chain favored by bankers in Hong Kong, in 2017.
A year later, L Catterton, the consumer-focused fund backed by luxury retailer LVMH, bought China fitness chain Will’s Group. Navis Capital Partners and Oaktree Capital Management own Evolution Wellness, which operates Celebrity Fitness and Fitness First health clubs in Asia.