Orangetheory Fitness, Self Esteem Brands to Merge as Equals

Orangetheory Fitness, Self Esteem Brands to Merge as Equals

Combined Company Will Have Sweeping Fitness, Health and Wellness Services

Orangetheory Fitness and Self Esteem Brands jointly announced on Thursday that they will merge as equals in an all-stock transaction. Ultimately the two franchisors will become a new company (unnamed in the news release) offering an array of fitness, health and wellness services at about 7,000 franchise locations across 50 countries and territories worldwide. The merger will be official after government approvals and related processes are completed.

The Orangetheory Fitness franchise is known for its heart rate-based interval training; Self Esteem Brands is made up of fitness, health and personal-care franchise brands. Once the franchisors merge, the combined portfolio will hold Anytime Fitness, The Bar Method, Basecamp Fitness/SUMHIIT Fitness, Orangetheory Fitness, Stronger U Nutrition and Waxing the City. 

The merger will result in a new company with a significant international presence. The various brands will continue to invest in technology, products and services “that help franchisees across its brands outpace growing consumer demands for holistic health and wellness services,” according to a news release announcing the merger.

From the Brands’ Leaders…

In the news release, Chuck Runyon, co-founder of Anytime Fitness and CEO of Self Esteem Brands, said, “From our simple beginnings in 2002 with the first Anytime Fitness club, we’ve enjoyed rapid growth worldwide thanks to both the power of small-business franchising and our mix of brands that meet ever-increasing demand for more holistic and personalized health and wellness services. With this merger, we will enrich even more people … on their personal health and wellness journeys.”

Also in the news release, Dave Long, co-founder and CEO of Orangetheory Fitness, said his brand “will continue to build on our legacy of innovation and transformation. … We are excited about what our combined companies will be able to accomplish together to capture an increasing market share, unlock future growth and pioneer a healthier tomorrow for consumers around the world.”

About Orangetheory and Self Esteem Brands

With its heart rate-based workouts combining coaching with science and technology, Orangetheory Fitness’s overall mission is helping its members achieve long, active lives. The brand’s regimens, led by certified coaches, aim to supercharge metabolism and cardiorespiratory health. Technology tracks performance, giving results to members in real time. Orangetheory, founded in 2010 and based in Boca Raton, Fla., has 1,500 franchise studios in all 50 U.S. states and 24 countries.

Orangetheory Fitness, Self Esteem Brands to Merge as Equals
Anytime Fitness is a brand under the Self Esteem Brands umbrella along with The Bar Method, Basecamp Fitness, SUMHIIT Fitness and Waxing the City.

Anytime Fitness, The Bar Method, Basecamp Fitness, SUMHIIT Fitness and Waxing the City comprise Self Esteem Brands. The umbrella franchisor, with headquarters in Woodbury, Minn., has almost 5,500 locations that operate on all seven continents, according to the news release. In addition, three affiliates of Self Esteem Brands – Healthy Contributions, Provision Security and Stronger U Nutrition – provide franchise support and direct-to-consumer services. 

Praise from Roark Capital 

The private equity firm Roark Capital, which invests in multi-unit businesses and franchises, has held stakes in Self Esteem Brands since 2014 and in Orangetheory Fitness since 2016. Erik Morris, chief investment officer of Roark Capital, credited the two brands’ founders and leaders with building strong brands. “Each has a long history of remarkable growth,” Morris added. 

Roark Capital specializes in multi-site businesses in various segments of the economy, including business and consumer services; education and youth activities; and fitness, health and wellness services. Based in Atlanta, Roark has $37 billion in assets under management, the news release stated.

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Mary Vinnedge is an award-winning journalist who has served as editor in chief, managing editor and senior editor at national and regional publications, including SUCCESS and Design NJ magazines. She also held reporting and editing roles at The Dallas Morning News and Charlotte Observer newspapers.

Before Mary began covering franchise news and trends as a staff writer for FranchiseWire and Franchise Consultant Magazine, she developed articles on topics ranging from lifestyle, education, health and science to home projects, horticulture, gardening, interior design and architecture. These articles included her reporting on academic news at her alma mater, Texas A&M University, when Mary worked in the marketing department of the Texas A&M Foundation. She continues to be a news junkie and subscribes to several publications.

Today Mary and her husband are empty nesters living on Galveston Island near Houston. The couple’s blended family – scattered around the United States – includes five children, four grandchildren and two very spoiled, very barky miniature schnauzer rescues.
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