Investment funds managed by Morgan Stanley Capital Partners (MSCP), the middle market focused private equity team within Morgan Stanley Investment Management, announced today that they have completed an investment in Impact Fitness (“Impact” or the “Company”), a leading Planet Fitness franchisee with 29 clubs across the United States and Canada. MSCP partnered with the current management team, led by CEO Adam Willaeys, as well as founder Chris Klebba, who will remain as Executive Chairman. The Company, which MSCP acquired from Bain Capital Double Impact (BCDI) and Bridges Fund Management (Bridges), extends MSCP’s long track record of partnering with experiential, multi-site retail businesses.
Impact, headquartered in Brighton, Michigan, was founded by Chris Klebba in 2006 with the opening of its first Planet Fitness club in the Greater Detroit market. Since then, the Company has grown to include 29 clubs across Michigan, Indiana, British Columbia, and Ontario.
Planet Fitness is one of the largest and fastest-growing franchisors of fitness centers in the United States. As of March 31, 2019, Planet Fitness had more than 13.6 million members and 1,806 clubs in the 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, Canada, the Dominican Republic, Panama and Mexico. Planet Fitness’ mission is to enhance people’s lives by providing a high-quality fitness experience in a welcoming, non-intimidating environment, called the Judgement Free Zone®.
In addition to operating top-performing locations in the Planet Fitness system, Impact is dedicated to improving communities in which it operates by providing high-quality, affordable gym access to underserved communities, partnering with local charitable organizations, and hiring talent from the very cities and towns the clubs serve. Impact achieved B-Corp eligibility status in 2018 and is a recognized leading franchisee in the Planet Fitness system.
Aaron Sack, Managing Director and Head of MSCP, said: “We are excited to partner with Impact’s talented management team to continue the Company’s impressive growth. We have admired Planet Fitness and the franchisee system, and Impact has differentiated itself through its mission-driven culture. We are pleased to support the Company as it expands and aims to bring its offering to additional communities in need.”
Adam Willaeys, Chief Executive Officer of Impact Fitness, said, “Impact Fitness is excited to continue its journey of providing high-value, low-cost, judgement-free fitness for everyone. Morgan Stanley Capital Partners is the ideal match for not only growing our brand, but also the culture and mission of Impact Fitness. Thank you to Bain Capital Double Impact, Bridges Fund Management, and all parties for making this opportunity possible.”
“We have been pleased to partner with a mission-driven management team as they've increased access to fitness for hundreds of thousands of people who live in markets that are underserved by other fitness providers”, said Peter Spring, a Managing Director of Bain Capital Double Impact. “We have been thrilled with their successes improving access to low-cost fitness and building a high-performance, mission-aligned team culture, and we wish Chris, Adam and the rest of the Impact Fitness team well during this next phase of their growth.”
Debevoise & Plimpton served as legal advisor to MSCP. Harris Williams served as financial advisor to Impact Fitness and BCDI.
About Morgan Stanley Capital Partners
Morgan Stanley Capital Partners, part of Morgan Stanley Investment Management, is a leading middle-market private equity platform that has invested capital in a broad spectrum of industries for over three decades. Morgan Stanley Capital Partners focuses on privately negotiated equity and equity-related investments primarily in North America and seeks to create value in portfolio companies primarily in a series of subsectors in the business services, consumer, healthcare and industrials markets with an emphasis on driving significant organic and acquisition growth through an operationally focused approach. For further information about Morgan Stanley Capital Partners, please visit www.morganstanley.com/im/capitalpartners.
About Morgan Stanley Investment Management
Morgan Stanley Investment Management, together with its investment advisory affiliates, has more than 671 investment professionals around the world and $480 billion in assets under management or supervision as of March 31, 2019. Morgan Stanley Investment Management strives to provide outstanding long-term investment performance, service and a comprehensive suite of investment management solutions to a diverse client base, which includes governments, institutions, corporations and individuals worldwide. For further information about Morgan Stanley Investment Management, please visit www.morganstanley.com/im.
About Morgan Stanley
Morgan Stanley (NYSE: MS) is a leading global financial services firm providing investment banking, securities, wealth management and investment management services. With offices in more than 41 countries, the Firm's employees serve clients worldwide including corporations, governments, institutions and individuals. For more information about Morgan Stanley, please visit www.morganstanley.com.