Inspire Brands acquires Asia business of gym operator Anytime Fitness

Dumbbells and fitness equipment at a gym.

Amid restrictions on fitness activities and gym operations in some parts of Southeast Asia due to the coronavirus pandemic, Anytime Fitness Inc‘s business in Asia has been acquired a consortium for an undisclosed amount.

Inspire Brands Asia (IBA), the consortium led by Anytime Fitness Asia’s top sub-master franchisees, lead investor Exacta Capital Partners, and co-investor Aura Group, is betting on the expected throng of people going to the gym once the COVID-19 restrictions are lifted.

Inspire Brands Asia is the holding company of Anytime Fitness Asia, owning both its franchising and managed gym services division.

The acquisition includes the master franchisee license in Singapore, Malaysia, the Philippines, Indonesia, Thailand, Taiwan, Vietnam, Hong Kong, and Macau, with over 350 locations and 250 gyms.

In the Philippines, for instance, the government still has not allowed gyms and other fitness centers to operate. Fitness gatherings such as Zumba sessions, yoga sessions, and the like are not allowed as well.

In the last four years, Anytime Fitness Asia’s compound annual growth rates of 49% in franchise sales and 55% in gym openings were driven by the sub-master franchisees in Malaysia, the Philippines, and Singapore

“We are positioned strongly to take advantage of opportunities as our gyms reopen and we navigate the new normal,” said Luke Guanlao, IBA Group CEO and Anytime Fitness COO.

The acquisition is noteworthy not just in private equity but also in M&A history. According to Wong, completing the deal amidst “this black swan backdrop” involved not only an assessment of the brand and its capacity to withstand enforced gym closures, but also a long-term outlook on the industry.

“Anytime Fitness Asia is proven and capitalizes on its smaller footprint in community locations and lower entry and maintenance cost, which ensures gyms will reopen safely and grow post-COVID-19,” Wong added.

Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.

Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.