Private Equity Firms Buy 17 Planet Fitness Franchises in New York State

Exaltare Capital Partners and Brightwood Capital Advisors have purchased another Planet Fitness franchise, this time from Dave Leon, a Planet Fitness franchisee since 2004.

Seventeen Planet Fitness locations in upstate New York have been purchased by two private equity firms. The deal was announced on Tuesday. Terms were not disclosed.

Exaltare Capital Partners, based in Boston, and Brightwood Capital Advisors, based in New York City, purchased the locations from Dave Leon, a Planet Fitness franchisee since 2004.

The group operates under the name ECP-PF Holding Group and now owns 52 Planet Fitness locations in New York, Connecticut and New Mexico, making it the largest Planet Fitness franchisee.

Leon was named president of the New York division of ECP-PF, and he will be an equity owner in the company.

About 18 months ago, Leon opened a headquarters in Rotterdam, NY, and has told reporters he will host staff training sessions there for new Planet Fitness franchisees. He also serves as chairman of the Planet Fitness franchisee group, and last year he noted that he wants to open locations in western New York and in the western regions of the United States, particularly in Wyoming and Montana.

In 2013, Exaltare and Brightwood bought 15 clubs throughout Connecticut from Joe Pepe Sr., Ron Pepe and Chuck Esposito.

Exaltare invests in owner-managed, family-controlled businesses and corporate divestitures. It was co-founded by Omar Simmons, who has completed more than 15 principal transactions exceeding $2.5 billion in aggregate transaction value during the past 15 years, according to the company’s website.

Brightwood focuses on small and medium-sized U.S. businesses and operates across five industries: technology/telecom, energy, business services, healthcare and franchising.

Planet Fitness, Newington, NH, was No. 7 on the Top 100 Health Clubs for 2014 by Club Industry. It reported $211 million in 2013 revenue, a 32 percent increase from 2012.

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