Largest Planet Fitness Franchisee Group Acquired by New York Private Equity Firm

United PF Partners sale
(Photo by AFP Contributor / Getty Images.) United PF became the largest Planet Fitness franchisee in November 2016 when it was formed by private equity groups JLM Financial Partners and Eagle Merchant Partners with the merger of several Planet Fitness franchisees.

The private equity owners of United PF Partners, the largest Planet Fitness franchisee conglomerate, have sold the group to American Securities, another New York-based private equity firm, for an undisclosed sum, the companies announced in a Jan. 6 media release.

JLM Financial Partners, Austin, Texas, and Eagle Merchant Partners, Atlanta, Georgia partnered in November 2016 to establish United PF, a collection of 59 Planet Fitness franchisee locations in nine states. Today, United PF claims 160 locations in 14 states, and representatives from JLM and Eagle Merchant said the group had been successful in reaching desired growth milestones.

United PF’s clubs span the West, Southwest, Midwest, South and Mid-Atlantic regions. 

“We are very excited to partner with American Securities as we seek to continue to expand our platform through numerous growth avenues,” United PF CEO Trey Owen said in the release. “JLM Financial Partners and Eagle Merchant Partners gave us the support and the space to be the best Planet Fitness operators in the system, while making it possible for us to expand our geographic footprint and introduce more health-conscious members to the Judgement Free Zone."

American Securities primarily invests in North American companies with annual revenues ranging from $200 million to $2 billion and claims $23 billion under management. To date, the firm’s portfolio does not include any other health club companies or club franchisee groups.

In June 2019, United PF announced it had acquired 26 additional locations and development rights in the Arkansas, Tennessee, Missouri, Mississippi and Illinois markets from PF Arkansas LLC. In 2017 and 2018, United PF acquired multiple franchisee groups in Arizona and Louisiana.

Planet Fitness recently ranked No. 6 on Club Industry’s Top 100 Health Clubs of 2019 list with $572.9 million in 2018 revenue from corporate-owned locations and franchisee fees but not individual franchisee revenue.  

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