LA Fitness Completes Acquisition of Urban Active

LA Fitness, Irvine, CA, and Urban Active, Lexington, KY, announced that they have completed their transaction and that LA Fitness has purchased all 36 Urban Active clubs in Ohio, Kentucky, Tennessee, Georgia, Nebraska, North Carolina and Pennsylvania. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Since their initial announcement on Sept. 10, both LA Fitness and Urban Active have been working to complete the deal and prepare for the transition of the existing Urban Active member base and staff, according to a press release issued to Club Industry.

Several Urban Active members tweeted Thursday that notes were posted at Urban Active clubs that said the clubs would close at 5 p.m. Thursday and would reopen as LA Fitness on Friday.

LA Fitness will honor all of the active membership agreements that it purchased from Urban Active, at their current rate, including those for personal training, according to the press release. In addition:

  • All active Urban Active members with multi-club, multi-state privileges will have access to all Urban Active and LA Fitness locations except signature and New York clubs.
  • All active Urban Active members with multi-club, single-state privileges will have access to all Urban Active and LA Fitness locations in the state where they joined, except signature clubs.
  • All active single-club members will have the same access they have now to the Urban Active location where they joined.

A spokesperson for Urban Active told Club Industry that CEO Royce Pulliam is not doing interviews at this time. However, in September, Pulliam told Lexington, KY, TV station WKYT that Urban Active had had discussions with LA Fitness about a possible sale for the past several years and that the timing was right, calling the sale a bittersweet moment.

Of the 36 Urban Active clubs acquired in the deal, 19 are in Ohio, 10 are in Kentucky, three are in Tennessee and one each are in Georgia, Nebraska, North Carolina and Pennsylvania.

One of the Urban Active clubs has already closed: the 27,000-square-foot Deerfield club in Mason, OH. Those members are being relocated to the 50,000-square-foot LA Fitness club in Symmes, OH.

Many of Urban Active’s employees have accepted positions with LA Fitness, according to the press release.

Urban Active was No. 9 on Club Industry’s Top 100 Clubs list this year with $107.5 million in 2011 revenue. LA Fitness was No. 2 on this year’s list with an estimated $1.2 billion in 2011 revenue.

Compared to the previous two LA Fitness acquisitions involving Bally Total Fitness clubs and Lifestyle Family Fitness clubs, the acquisition of Urban Active took longer to complete. LA Fitness took about two weeks to complete the deals with Bally and Lifestyle Family Fitness. The Urban Active deal took a little more than six weeks to complete.

The Bally and Lifestyle Family Fitness acquisitions produced some initial frustrations for members of the acquired clubs. In January, former Bally members sued both Bally and LA Fitness, saying LA Fitness violated their membership contracts after the November 2011 acquisition.

Earlier this month, LA Fitness cancelled its Les Mills and Silver Sneakers programs at the former Lifestyle Family Fitness clubs, angering some members, according to a report in the Tampa Bay Times. LA Fitness confirmed to Club Industry it has closed three clubs it acquired from Lifestyle Family Fitness in July. The Hillsborough, FL, club closed on Aug. 10, and two clubs in Pinellas County, FL—the Tyrone club and the Palm Harbor club—closed on Oct. 1.

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