Private investment firm Argonne Capital Group LLC, Atlanta, recently announced portfolio company National Fitness Partners (NFP), Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, acquired 12 North Carolina-based Planet Fitness clubs from franchisee GNT Holdings LLC. This brings NFP's total club count to 23, with facilities in Pennsylvania, Delaware, North Carolina and South Carolina.
“We have known Gerald Kennedy and the GNT team for many years and have always been impressed with the quality of their clubs, their operations and their growing markets,” said Frank Kindler, president of NFP, in a May 18 media release. “With these newly acquired clubs and the continued financial support of Argonne, we look forward to further expanding the Planet Fitness brand in the Carolinas and beyond.”
In the same release, GNT President Gerald Kennedy said NFP will provide the perfect home for its 12 Charlotte-area health clubs.
“After 11 years of hard work building out the Charlotte market, the entire GNT team and I could not be more thrilled with the outcome of this transaction,” Kennedy said.
King & Spalding, McGuireWoods LLP, Gray Plant Mooty and Asenti Diligence Partners advised Argonne Capital Group during the acquisition process, according to the release. Bishop, Dulaney, Joyner & Abner advised GNT Holdings.
Last April, NFP undertook a majority recapitalization of a 10-unit Planet Fitness franchise headquartered in the Harrisburg area.
Argonne independently capitalizes each investment, according to the release, allowing the firm "meaningful flexibility in the types of transactions it pursues and an indefinite time horizon for its ownership of any given asset." The firm primarily seeks equity investments of at least $25 million per transaction. Its portfolio spans over 1,000 locations of brands such as IHOP, Applebee's, Krystal, On The Border, Lube Stop and Planet Fitness.