October 2009
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Fitness One to raise Rs 25-crore

Fitness One is looking at a PE infusion of around Rs 25 crore to fund its expansion. The Chennai-based company has been actively scouting for private equity in the last few months. The 75-outlet strong fitness chain is open to diluting 15-20% equity to fund growth, Fitness One promoter and MD Vivek Anand confirmed to ET.

The chain hopes to add 30-40 outlets in the next 18 months, “three-fourths of which would be company-owned, with the rest being franchisee-run,” he said.

It is learnt from sources that it was close to signing a deal with TVS Capital, but talks fell through over valuation issues. The company has now mandated one of the big four consulting firms to look for the right partner. Mr Anand said they hoped to complete the process in the next six months.

In 2007, Mauritius-based India Equity Growth Fund (part of Reliance Asset Management, Mauritius) bought a 4.5% stake in Fitness One, valuing it at Rs 100 crore. However, Fitness One bought the stake back early this year.

The five-year-old chain runs large format (more than 6,000 sq ft), small format Express and womens’ only Pink centres, apart from outlets in IT parks and corporate offices. Of its current outlet count, 51 are corporate centres — including a few in Delhi, Mumbai, Pune and Calcutta, apart from those scattered across the south.

For its current round of expansion, it plans to concentrate on centres for the general public, of which it currently has 23. The chain is also betting big on its FitnessOne@Home concept, under which it sets up fitness training equipment at the client’s home.

The comapany has a retail arm too, through which it sells branded international fitness training equipment as well as its in-house label Propel. Fitness One posted a turnover of Rs 32 crore last fiscal and is hoping to cross the Rs 100-crore mark in the next five years.

The Indian fitness market is estimated at around Rs 2,000-crore, but still nascent in India, with just 1% penetration. Some of the other chain players in the country include Mumbai-based Talwarkars, Chennai-based Maverick and international players like Fitness First, Gold’s Gym and Snap Fitness.

Source: Economic Times

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