Avedon Capital Partners announces exit of Fit For Free and SportCity to Bencis

The founders, Avedon Capital Partners and management have announced the sale of Fit For Free and SportCity, two successful leading brands in fitness centres, to Bencis, an independent investment company based in the Benelux and Germany. Closing is subject to regulatory approvals. The founders, Avedon and management are pleased with the transaction, confirming the value which has been created with the roll-out strategy of both brands. Founders and management are keen on continuing this growth strategy with Bencis.

In 2009, Fit For Free (founded in 2005) and SportCity (founded in 1995) came together with a strategy to rapidly increase market penetration in the Netherlands, especially with the Fit For Free value format. Throughout maturing of the market, the two brands have established impressive growth and have developed into recognized brands in their respective segments.

With the support of Avedon, SportCity and Fit For Free have increased the number of clubs from 42 to 110 through organic growth and selective acquisitions, resulting in nearly 400,000 members and doubling of its revenues. Substantial investments have been made into opening new clubs, refurbishing existing clubs with innovative formats, highest quality equipment and digitalization of the company’s membership and IT infrastructure. The organisation has been strengthened and professionalized through development of marketing, human capital, site selection and management, and strong day-to-day operational management.

Michel Verhoog of Avedon Capital Partners: “It has been exciting to be part of the growth journey of Fit For Free and SportCity. The company has continuously improved to maintain its market-leading formats for many years. It’s been inspiring to see how passionately the teams at Fit For Free and SportCity work towards delivering the best service and experience for their members. We are convinced that with Bencis, Fit For Free and SportCity have found a partner to support a bright future for the company.”

Sabine Kloos, Chief Executive Officer of Fit For Free and SportCity said: “We are thankful that Avedon has supported the substantial investments in the growth strategy and the organisation to create a leading fitness platform for further growth. And we are looking forward to working with Bencis to continue our growth path and deliver the best service and experience for our members”.

About Fit For Free and SportCity
Fit For Free provides affordable and accessible gyms to value focused customers across 90 prime locations in the Netherlands. Fit For Free differentiates itself with offering ‘live’ group lessons with trained instructors, the highest quality of equipment and support through fitness trainers on the gym floor. Fit For Free offers cardio training, weight training, live group lessons, spinning, circuit training, FunXtion, and personal coaches. For more information, please visit www.fitforfree.nl

SportCity offers premium fitness facilities across 19 locations across the Netherlands. Customers choose SportCity for its personal approach in a full fitness and wellness service offering for a reasonable price. SportCity clubs offer many live group lessons, Body&Mind classes, individual Get Started Programs, high-quality instructors, tanning & wellness facilities, child day care and squash facilities. For more information, please visit www.sportcity.nl.

About Avedon Capital Partners
Avedon is a leading lower mid-market private equity firm in the Benelux and Germany, providing capital in partnership with strong founder/owners or management teams that have distinctive and ambitious growth plans requiring a step change. The Avedon team is located in Amsterdam (NL) and Düsseldorf (GER) with managed assets of more than €500 million. Through dedicated sector teams, Avedon seeks opportunities in niches within four sectors: i) Software & Technology, ii) Business services, iii) Industry & Engineering, and iv) Consumer products & Leisure. Throughout the cycles the team has supported 23 growth companies in the field of strategy, sales growth, human capital, operational improvement and has achieved a strong track record of growth.

Media Contacts
For SportCity and Fit For Free:
+31 71 808 0165

For Avedon Capital Partners:
Michel Verhoog
+31 20 568 2621