F45 Training Begins Trading On NYSE

On the first day of trading on the New York Stock Exchange, F45 Training CEO Adam Gilchrist (pictured in the center in white standing next to actor Mark Wahlberg to the left of him) shared with Club Industry his plans to make F45 Training bigger than Planet Fitness and bigger than McDonald’s. (Photo courtesy F45 Training. )

F45 Training began trading on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol FXLV on July 15, setting the pricing of its initial public offering at $16 per share, the company announced.  

F45 Training Holdings Inc., Austin, Texas, offered 20,312,500 shares of its common stock, 18,750,000 of which are being offered by the company and 1,562,500 of which are being offered by the selling stockholder, at a price of $16 per share (before underwriting discounts and commissions).

F45 Training initially considered going public in 2020 before pulling back due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The reasons for going public now are three-fold, F45 Training CEO Adam Gilchrist told Club Industry.

The company has an investor that was a pre-IPO investor with a mandate to create some liquidity. In addition, Gilchrist wanted to share some wealth with staff who have been with the company for much of its existence and being a public company provides that platform, he said.

“The most important reason is being a public company provides that transparency and credibility in a similar way to Planet [Fitness] to attract private equity folks to invest into our network,” Gilchrist said, referencing fitness franchisor Planet Fitness, which is also publicly traded and has 2,059 franchises open. 

F45 has 2,800 franchises sold and 550 franchises sold so far this year. Earlier this year, Entrepreneur magazine ranked the company as the world's fastest growing fitness franchisor.

In addition to plans to roll out about 25,000 F45 locations in traditional spots, the company has plans to expand its footprint in colleges, where it already has 50 locations, and high schools, where it already has three locations. Add onto that military bases. The company just launched its third location at a military base. With those possibilities, the number of F45 Training locations could total 40,000 to 50,000, he said.

“We are going to be bigger than McDonald's,” he said. “That's our goal, and I think we will breeze past Planet in the not-too-distant future. Planet is a great business. We applaud them for everything they do, but what we have is a portable business that’s in 63 countries. There's no one else in 63 countries. We've opened up in Saudi Arabia. If you could point to another franchise system that's in Kabul in Afghanistan I'll be very surprised.”

F45 will use the net proceeds from the public offering to repay indebtedness, to pay the purchase price for the company’s acquisition of certain assets of the Flywheel indoor cycling studio business, to pay cash bonuses to certain employees, to pay expenses incurred in connection with the offering and for working capital and general corporate purposes.

Going public will accelerate what the company has been doing, Gilchrist said.

“We’ve been moving at a breakneck speed, but we've been very conservative fiscally, so I think we were probably one of the lowest leveraged companies when the pandemic hit, and we think this IPO will give us the horsepower in terms of cash to go out and really assist our franchisees in growing their businesses.”

He teased some “exciting announcements” coming up with influencers and some new products that will help create wealth for the F45 staff, create a platform for its franchisees to invest, and strengthen its balance sheet to hit the company’s goal of 40,000 to 50,000 locations.