F45 acquisition: Aussie fitness sensation snapped up in US deal

By Sarah Stowe | 26 Jun 2020 View comments

Aussie-born fitness chain F45 will be acquired by Crescent Acquisition Corp in a move set to accelerate the franchise’s global growth and achieve its goal of listing as a public company.

Earlier in 2020 there were reports of the fitness sensation filing for an initial public offer in the US.

Now Crescent Acquisition Corp, a publicly-traded special purpose acquisition company (part of global investment manager Crescent Capital Group) has stepped up to acquire the hotshot brand.

The transaction is scheduled to complete in the third quarter of 2020.

The combined company, expected to be valued  at US$845 million, will trade on the NASDAQ exchange as F45 Training Holdings Inc. with current F45 shareholders retaining about 60 per cent shares.

Adam Gilchrist, newly minted F45 CEO after the departure of founder Rob Deutsch, said “As a public company, I am confident that we will be able to accelerate our mission, while creating value for our shareholders.

“We look forward to continuing to disrupt our industry and to inspire even more people to achieve their health and fitness goals through F45’s innovative workouts combined with our nutrition program.”

Robert Beyer, executive chairman, and Todd Purdy, CEO, both of Crescent Acquisition Corp, said jointly, “We are looking forward to deepening our relationship with Adam and the entire F45 team as they continue to build what is undoubtedly one of the most exciting growth stories in health and fitness.

“F45’s high profit margins, exceptional franchisee economics and repeatable business model position it for continued rapid expansion.

“We are confident that F45’s strong member loyalty and consistently innovative and differentiated workouts will continue to prevail in many new and existing markets around the world.”

The combined company will continue to be led by CEO Adam Gilchrist, along with CFO Chris Payne, COO Heather Christie and the management team.

Current F45 board members of the F45 board and Crescent Acquisition Corp’s sponsor will name two individuals to serve as directors.

In 2019, Mark Wahlberg was part of  a private equity investment in F45 through MWIG LLC. The MWIG group will continue on the board in the new business.

In just seven years, F45 has rapidly scaled its global portfolio to more than 1,900 franchises sold in over 50 countries. More than 1,200 studios were trading in 40 countries as of March 31, 2020, including the US, Australia, Canada and the UK.