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Planet Fitness refinances and says it may buy back more shares

Planet Fitness is raising US$600 million in securitised debt
Some of it may be used to fund share repurchases for the second time this month
New CEO, Colleen Keating, takes the helm on 10 June
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Planet Fitness is refinancing and taking on securitised debt under its existing securitised financing facility.

At the end of March, the company had around US$2 billion of outstanding debt and it now intends to issue US$600 million in fixed-rate senior secured notes, with the potential to upsize this to US$800 million, subject to market conditions.

The proceeds will be used to repay existing notes – which had a balance of US$591 million at the end of March – with the balance covering transaction costs and being used for general corporate purposes, which may include funding share buy-backs.

With almost 20 million members and 2,599 locations at the end of March, Planet Fitness is one of the largest franchisors and operators in the world. However, the last year has been tumultuous, with former CEO, Chris Rondeau, being ousted in September.

Earlier this month, the company announced the repurchase of shares, increased the basic membership price and reined in growth forecasts because of "negative headwinds".

Planet Fitness is about to start a new phase with the appointment Colleen Keating, as CEO.

Keating, who takes over on 10 June, has three decades of experience in hospitality, real estate, operations and franchise management. On her appointment she said: “I’m eager to hit the ground running as we position the business for sustainable growth and value creation.”

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