North Castle Partners has completed an investment in Curves International, a women’s fitness club franchisor. “Bringing in a partner, the right partner, can be an arduous process. We set out to find a partner with a commitment to values and the knowledge and experience to guide our company to its next level of success. When we met North Castle, we knew that they understood not only our industry but the passion that has driven us to create Curves. We believe our partnership with North Castle will allow us to continue to improve the lives of women,” said Gary Heavin, Curves co-founder and CEO.
Curves International is a fitness club franchisor with approximately 7,300 locations in 90 countries of clubs specifically designed for women. Curves’ clubs average about 1,200 to 2,500 square feet and are generally located in strip malls. The company was founded by Gary and Diane Heavin in 1992 and is based in Woodway, TX (www.curves.com)
“As a firm focused on businesses that promote Health, Wellness, and Active Living, an investment in Curves was natural for us,” said Chip Baird, North Castle’s Founder and Managing Partner. “We are excited to partner with the company’s founders, Gary and Diane Heavin, to reinvigorate this world renowned company by applying our knowledge and experience in fitness and wellness from our current and prior investments, including International Fitness, Equinox Fitness, EAS and Octane Fitness.”
North Castle makes control investments in consumer-driven product and service companies located in North America with enterprise values ranging from $50 million to $500 million. Sectors of interest include: aesthetics and personal care; consumer health; fitness and recreation; home and leisure; and nutrition. North Castle is headquartered in Greenwich, CT (www.northcastlepartners.com).
The firm’s investments in the fitness space have included International Fitness, the leading operator of fitness clubs in Alberta, Canada; Equinox Fitness, the leading premium brand of health clubs in the United States; EAS, a leading marketer of sports nutrition products including protein bars and shakes; and Octane Fitness, a designer and marketer of low-impact cardio exercise equipment.
“Curves is the number one brand in the world in women’s fitness,” said Jon Canarick, North Castle Managing Director. “The concept of creating a safe environment specifically designed for women where participants can work out in comfort was revolutionary and that’s in part why Curves grew so rapidly and why it remains in demand. We believe Curves can evolve to continue to address the changing needs of today’s consumer in the U.S. and abroad by offering a more complete solution for women to meet their all-around wellness goals. In addition, Curves has a strong growing business in many international markets, including the leading position in Japan, with considerable white space for expansion throughout Asia.”
© 2012 PEPD • Private Equity’s Leading News Magazine • 9-11-12