F45 Training valued at US$1.4bn after IPO
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F45 Training valued at US$1.4bn after IPO

HIIT chain F45 Training was valued at around US$1.4bn by IPO
The Australia-based franchised operator listed on the New York Stock Exchange
The company sold 18.75 million shares priced at US$16 each, raising around $300m
Shares have fallen to US$13.75 since trading began, with the NYSE also seeing an overall fall
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F45's IPO on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) has revealed a strong appetite from investors, with 18.75 million shares sold, priced at US$16 each, raising around US$300m and giving a market value of around US$1.5bn at float.

IPO statements suggest the company – F45 Training Holdings Inc – released 20 per cent of its shares.

These are now trading at US$13.75 (at 20 July 2021), indicating a company value of US$1.29bn – a 15 per cent drop.

The franchise studio operator said the funds will be used to repay debt and fuel growth, as well as paying the purchase price for its acquisition of assets of the Flywheel indoor cycling studio business.

F45, which currently has nearly 1,500 studios in 63 countries, plans to open up to 7,000 studios in the US and 23,000 globally.

Founded in 2012, F45 is part-owned by actor Mark Wahlberg.

BACKGROUND

In 2019, Wahlberg and FOD Capital, a fund managed by Michael Raymond, led a private equity investment in F45 through MWIG, a private investment vehicle.

F45 announced its plans to list on the NASDAQ in June 2020, after securing a deal with Crescent Acquisition Corporation (CAC), a special purpose acquisition company.

The two companies then terminated their agreement in October, with F45 CEO Adam Gilchrist saying that approaching the public markets at the time "was not the right option for F45".

"We believe there is a significant opportunity to meaningfully expand our franchise studio footprint in the United States," F45 Training said at the time.

"As of March 31, 2021, we had 941 franchises sold and 518 total studios in the US.

"Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, we had seen the pace of our US growth accelerate, with average net franchises sold per month increasing from 12 in 2017 to 18 in 2018 to 32 in 2019.

"Due to COVID-19, the average net franchises sold per month decreased in 2020 to 10.

"Based on current franchises sold in Australia per capita as of March 31, 2021, we believe there is long-term studio potential for us to open over 7,000 studios in the US.

"As of March 31, 2021, we had 630 franchises sold outside of our core markets of the United States and Australia. Based on an extrapolation of current franchises sold in Australia per capita as of March 31, 2021, we believe there is a long-term global opportunity for over 23,000 studios, with a potential for approximately 16,000 studios outside of the US market.

"We believe we can continue to grow our international presence through our existing franchising strategy and by opportunistically pursuing master franchising agreements to sell select territories to experienced, local partners."

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F45's IPO on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) has revealed a strong appetite from investors, with 18.75 million shares sold, priced at US$16 each, raising around US$300m and giving a market value of around US$1.5bn at float.
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