Mark Wahlberg-backed Fitness Studio F45 Training Files for IPO

F45 Training is going public.

By the numbers: According to an SEC filing, the boutique studio operator reported $82.3M in revenue for 2020, down from $92.7M in 2019.

  • The fitness chain has sold 2,247 franchises in 63 countries to date.
  • Of note, 15 studios permanently closed during the pandemic.
  • 12% of “backlog studios” (franchises sold but not opened) terminated their franchise agreements.
  • A prominent supporter of the brand, actor Mark Wahlberg owns a 4.6% pre-IPO stake.

Take two. Entering 2020, F45 intended to go public. Even after the pandemic hit, word of a reverse merger with Crescent Acquisition Corp, a publicly traded SPAC, showed promise.

But, the deal that would have valued the company at $845M wasn’t to be. Ultimately, a host of COVID-related challenges were insurmountable — both parties agreed to terminate the transaction.

F45 Cycling? A close reading of the company’s S-1 filing reveals an interesting detail; F45 Training can acquire the intellectual property of the now-defunct indoor cycling brand Flywheel Sports:

“In April 2021, we entered into an intellectual property license agreement with FW SPV II LLC (“FW SPV”), a Delaware limited liability company, regarding certain intellectual property previously owned by Flywheel Sports, Inc. (“Flywheel IP”). The license agreement is for a period of five years at a rate of $5 million per year. Also, on March 31, 2021, we entered into an asset purchase agreement with FW SPV, whereby we can acquire the rights to the Flywheel IP upon the occurrence of certain circumstances for $25.0 million.”

Looking ahead, F45 could expand beyond HIIT to launch an indoor cycling concept.

Speaking of expansion: F45 recently debuted FS8 — a new studio concept that combines yoga, Pilates, and toning in a 45-minute, circuit-based workout.

What it is: The low-intensity/impact version of its HIIT-based F45 program, FS8 classes utilize a Reformer, mat work, light weights, and resistance bands.

The plan: Following the blueprint of its parent company, FS8 launched in Australia, where it looks to gain a foothold. In 2021, the goal is 50 flagship studios across the country, followed by as many as 500 studios in the coming years.

As the pandemic subsided, F45 is hoping gym-goers rush back to fitness studios.

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