September saw the easing of COVID-19 restrictions in the Philippines, allowing most of the gyms in the country to reopen.
Aura Group Invests in Anytime Fitness Asia Franchise
This transaction is a significant milestone for Aura Group in Asia, especially in light of market conditions created by COVID-19.
Aura Group is pleased to announce the private equity investment in Inspire Brands Asia Pte. Ltd. (“IBA”), the master franchise owner of the Anytime Fitness brand across Singapore, Malaysia, the Philippines, Indonesia, Thailand, Taiwan, Vietnam, Hong Kong and Macau (collectively “Asia”).
This transaction is a significant milestone for Aura Group in Asia, especially in light of market conditions created by COVID-19. This also marks Aura Group’s first collaboration with Exacta Capital Partners, the lead equity investor in IBA, and with RISA Partners, senior lender to IBA.
The founders of IBA have a proven track record of building the Anytime Fitness brand across Asia, having sold over 350 gym franchises in under 6 years and is the region’s largest and fastest-growing gym brand. Anytime Fitness currently boasts more than 250 locations with a total membership base of over 200,000 within Asia. In 2018/2019 alone, 182 gym franchises were awarded, and 139 new gyms opened. Despite gym closures due to COVID-19, IBA is well-positioned to weather the current lockdowns across various markets and support its franchisees in accelerating growth once these are relaxed.
Luke Guanlao, Chief Executive Officer of IBA, commented: “Aura’s and Exacta’s equity investment is a breakthrough as we embark on our expansion plans for Anytime Fitness in Asia. Whilst Anytime Fitness is already a market leader in Singapore, Malaysia and the Philippines, the additional capabilities offered by Aura and Exacta in our partnership will accelerate our growth and assist us in capturing new markets, customers and opportunities across Asia”.
“IBA has a clear and proven business model that delivers a distinctive, award-winning and affordable health and wellness offering via the Anytime Fitness brand. We are delighted to partner with Exacta to support IBA’s trailblazing founding team in further growing the business across Asia,” said Charles Wong, Executive Director at Aura.
According to International Health, Racquet & Sportsclub Association’s 2018 Asia Pacific Health Club Report, the gym industry in Southeast Asia, Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan has experienced growth of approximately 8% Compound Annual Growth Rate over the past 3 years and will be valued at over USD 3.2 billion by 2023. Significant under-penetration of the gym industry in these regions (less than 2% versus 16% in Australia), Asian economic growth, stronger purchasing power due to an emerging middle class and increasing income levels, will underpin forecasted growth.
About Exacta Capital Partners
Exacta Capital Partners is a Southeast Asia-focused middle market private equity fund manager and successor fund manager of Mizuho ASEAN Investment GP, which was jointly established by Mr Kota Igarashi and Mizuho Bank, Ltd. in 2012. Through its investment advisor Mizuho Asia Partners Pte. Ltd., headquartered in Singapore with local offices in Indonesia, Malaysia and Vietnam, Exacta seeks to invest in and nurture promising mid-cap companies in Southeast Asia in part by leveraging its Japanese connections and strong local presence across Southeast Asia. For more information, please visit the Mizuho website.
About RISA Partners Asia, Inc.
RISA Partners is a Japanese investment bank focused on corporate investment, corporate financing and real estate. Established in 1998, it seeks to provide optimal solutions through an extensive Japanese network, stellar deal track record and technical expertise. Outside of Japan, it is represented by RISA Partners Asia Pte. Ltd. which manages a platform of investment products and funds targeting South East Asia. For more information, please visit the RISA website.
About Inspire Brands Asia Pte. Ltd.
Inspire Brands Asia, with headquarters in Singapore, is the master franchisee of the global fitness brand “Anytime Fitness” across Singapore, the Philippines, Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand, Taiwan, Vietnam, Hong Kong and Macau. For 11 consecutive years, Anytime Fitness has been the fastest-growing gym franchise in the world, averaging 300 new gyms per year while serving over 4,000,000 members at more than 4,500 gyms on seven continents. Open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, Anytime Fitness prides itself on providing its members with convenient fitness options and friendly, personal service in well-maintained facilities, which feature top-quality exercise equipment. Anytime Fitness gyms are now open in nearly 40 countries.
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