National Fitness Partners operations will remain in Harrisburg Pennsylvania Photo courtesy Planet Fitness

National Fitness Partners operations will remain in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. (Photo courtesy Planet Fitness.)

Argonne Capital Group Recapitalizes 10-Unit Planet Fitness Franchisee in Pennsylvania

The franchisees of the Planet Fitness units are the Kindler family and Julie Morrison, all of whom will continue to own a portion of the business along with Argonne. 

Argonne Capital Group LLC, Atlanta, announced on Thursday that a new affiliate, National Fitness Partners, undertook a majority recapitalization of a 10-unit Planet Fitness franchise headquartered in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.

The franchisees include the Kindler family of fitness industry veterans and Julie Morrison, the franchise's director of marketing and community outreach. The Kindler family and Morrison will own "a meaningful portion" of National Fitness Partners and will continue to manage the business along with private investment firm Argonne, according to Thursday's media release announcing the new affiliate.

"We started with one gym in the Planet Fitness system in 2007 and have grown our footprint to 10 locations serving over 65,000 members across Central Pennsylvania," Frank Kindler, president, National Fitness Partners, said in a statement. "With this new Argonne partnership, we see tremendous potential to continue our growth trajectory without losing sight of our main objective – offering our members an affordable and inviting gym experience that will keep them coming back."

National Fitness Partners operations will remain in Harrisburg. Terms of the acquisition were not disclosed in Thursday's media release. With this acquisition, Argonne Capital has completed 18 acquisitions in the multi-unit restaurant, retail and service sectors. Argonne's portfolio spans over 1,000 locations covering brands such as IHOP, Applebee's, Krystal, On The Border, Lube Stop and now, Planet Fitness.

"Argonne has long admired the scale, value-orientation and positive customer experience provided by the Planet Fitness system," Layton Grisette, Principal, Argonne Capital Group, said in a statement. "In joining forces with the Kindlers on this transaction, we believe we've found a great partner to enable National Fitness Partners to achieve considerable growth through acquisitions of other Planet Fitness franchisees and through new unit development in existing and new territories. We are thrilled to be joining such a dominant brand and to be partnering with an experienced management team."

Argonne's portfolio generates in excess of $1.6 billion in annual system-wide sales. The company also has a significant presence in multi-tenant retail real estate through its RCG Ventures platform. The firm targets equity investments of $25 to $100 million per transaction.

King & Spalding, McGuireWoods LLP, Gray Plant Mooty and Asenti Diligence Partners advised Argonne Capital Group. The Mclean Group and DLA Piper advised the Kindler family and other selling shareholders.

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