The Mark Wahlberg Investment Group and FOD Capital are purchasing a minority stake in F45 Training, El Segundo, California, the parties announced on March 18. The investment—which is estimated to be $450 million, according to Bloomberg—is intended to accelerate F45's global expansion strategy.
F45, founded in Australia in 2012, has more than 1,500 HIIT-centric studios across 40 countries. The company recently ranked No. 19 on Entrepreneur's 2019 Fastest-Growing Franchises list.
"This is a monumental transaction for F45 Training," F45 CEO Rob Deutsch said in a media release. "When we started the company, we knew we had something special and had bold plans to create a global fitness movement. The immense interest we were able to generate through this process proved the strength of the F45 platform, and we are excited to embark on this partnership with Mark Wahlberg and his team of investors. Mr. Wahlberg's genuine passion for fitness, proven business acumen and shared vision for F45 Training made this an ideal fit for the company, and we are proud to welcome him into the F45 family."
After an internal search process, F45's management team decided that Mark Wahlberg's group and investor Michael Raymond's Florida-based FOD Capital firm were its best growth-oriented investor partners. In addition to unit growth, Deutsch expects the partnership will help F45 expand its global brand awareness.
"Together with my investors, we are excited to be working with F45 Training," Wahlberg said in the release. "The founders of F45 Training have done an incredible job building a global brand, and with this partnership, we hope to continue disrupting the fitness industry. The strength of F45 is that people of all fitness levels will find motivation and support in an F45 studio. We look forward to inspiring people all over the world to pursue their health and fitness goals by introducing them to F45."
Wahlberg is best known as an actor, producer, music artist and as co-owner of the Wahlburgers restaurant chain.
Deutsche Bank Securities Inc. and Baker McKenzie served as F45's financial advisor and legal counsel, respectively. Dickinson Wright served as legal counsel to the investors.