Equinox Secures Investment from Private Equity Firm L Catterton

Equinox Hollywood October 2016 Opening
Equinox CEO Harvey Spevak said that the investment by L Catterton will allow Equinox to continue its expansion, such as the opening of this Equinox club in Hollywood, California, in October 2016.(Photo by Phillip Faraone/Getty Images for EQUINOX.)

Equinox, New York, received a "significant minority investment" from private equity firm L Catterton, according to a July 11 announcement from Equinox. The amount of the investment was undisclosed. 

"Partnering with L Catterton, which has unparalleled expertise and institutional knowledge of the consumer space, is a resounding endorsement of the strong positioning and performance of our brand," Harvey Spevak, executive chairman and managing partner of Equinox, said in the announcement. "Equinox has never been in greater demand. This investment will allow us to continue our rapid growth and achieve our long-term strategic initiatives to provide exceptional, high performance lifestyle clubs across the U.S. and globally."  

L Catterton, which prior to its 2016 merger with multinational luxury goods conglomerate LVMH was known as Catterton Partners, has more than $14 billion of equity capital across six fund strategies, according to the release. It has investments in 91 brands, including three U.S. fitness brands. In 2015, it invested $75 million in Peloton, the New York-based at-home cycling brand, to help the company expand its software engineering team, open more showrooms and increase product awareness, according to the announcement at that time. In 2016, Peloton reportedly brought in $170 million in revenue, triple its revenue from the prior year, according to this CNBC report. In May, Peloton announced it had raised another $325 million from additional investors with an eye toward going public.  

Also in 2015, L Catterton invested in Pure Barre, Spartanburg, South Carolina, for an undisclosed amount. The company planned to use the investment for domestic and international expansion. At that time, Pure Barre had 300 studios in 42 states and the District of Columbia. As of late April, the company noted on its website that it has 450 studios and is projected to open 74 new studios this year with a goal of 1,000 open studios globally by 2021.  

In 2013, L Catterton invested an undisclosed sum in CorePower Yoga to help the company expand from the 80 studios it had at that time. It now lists 170 studios on its website.  

At one time, L Catterton also had investment in Flywheel, a competitor of SoulCycle, which is a sister company to Equinox.  

Equinox has 89 clubs in New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Miami, Chicago, Boston, Dallas, Houston and Washington, DC, as well as international locations in London, Toronto and Vancouver. In late June, Equinox opened its fifth location in the Miami area in Brickell Heights. The 34,000-square-foot facility has a panoramic yoga studio, wraparound pool deck and cabanas, more than 8,000 square feet of strength and cardio equipment, a full-service spa, juice bar and café.  

"The fitness sector has experienced unprecedented growth as more consumers are prioritizing health and wellness," said Michael Chu, Global Co-CEO of L Catterton. "As an undisputed leader in the industry, Equinox has developed a brand that is truly distinctive to its clientele, offering unrivaled service and a unique experience, with the potential to expand globally. We look forward to working with Equinox's outstanding management team to support the brand's execution of their bold vision for global growth."  

L Catterton was named by The M&A Advisor as the 2016 International Private Equity Firm of the Year, the second year in a row for the award. M&A Advisor also honored L Catterton in 2013, 2014 and 2016 as Private Equity Firm of the Year.  

Equinox will launch its Equinox Hotels in 2019.

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