Planet Fitness Raises $216 Million in IPO of Gym Chain

Planet Fitness: Why It's the Healthier Investment

Planet Fitness Inc., which offers gym memberships for $10 per month, raised $216 million in its initial public offering, pricing the shares at the top of the marketed range.

The fitness chain, known for its no-frills atmosphere, and TSG Consumer Partners sold 13.5 million shares for $16 apiece, according to data compiled by Bloomberg, after offering them for $14 to $16. At the IPO price, Planet Fitness is valued at about $1.6 billion. The stock, listed on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol PLNT, will begin trading Thursday.

With the tag line “We’re not a gym. We’re Planet Fitness,” the company says it welcomes workout beginners. The low prices had garnered 7.1 million members as of March 31 and 33 consecutive quarters of same-store sales growth, regulatory filings show. Still, opening new gyms requires capital, and investors will have to be comfortable with Planet Fitness’s $500 million in debt.

“It appeals to a much broader base,” said Gregory Sichenzia, founder of Sichenzia Ross Friedman Ference, a securities law firm in NYC. “Their prospects are unlimited at this point. There aren’t a lot of negative things, other than the debt, that people are saying about this company.”

Sales Growth

Planet Fitness, based in Newington, New Hampshire, is led by Chief Executive Officer Chris Rondeau, who was hired in 1993 by founders Michael and Marc Grondahl to work the front desk of their local gym. Rondeau, 42, rose to become chief operating officer in 2003 and became CEO in 2013.

Sales derived through franchises, corporate-owned stores and equipment generated about $280 million in revenue last year, a 33 percent jump from 2013.

TSG Consumer Partners, which acquired a stake in Planet Fitness in 2013, offered 4.4 million of the shares in the IPO. The private equity firm will still own 68 percent of Class A shares after the sale, the prospectus shows.

JPMorgan Chase & Co., Bank of America Corp., Jefferies Group LLC and Credit Suisse Group AG managed the IPO.

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