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Entries in acquisition (26)


This Week in the Fitness Industry: Health Club Initiatives Help Members De-stress

Blink Fitness Temporarily Turns Off TV News to Reduce Stress
Blink Fitness has launched a new initiative to encourage members to minimize stress and focus on their well being throughout April, which is National Stress Awareness Month. For the "Tune Out While You Work Out" initiative, Blink will be switching its TV programming from stress-inducing news channels to mood-lifting content, such as comedy, entertainment, music, and educational programming. Every Blink facility will also encourage members to take a step back from social media and all of their daily stressors through exercise. "We always want Blink to be a place our members turn to when they need a mood boost," Ellen Roggemann, vice president of marketing for Blink Fitness, said in a release. "After seeing the results of [the American Psychological Association survey on stress], we wanted to do something that would serve as a reminder that exercise is just as important for our members' mental well-being as it is for their physical health. We are removing stressors from our gyms like news content from our TV screens and are encouraging members to go social media-free during their workouts so they can tune out while they work out."  

Continue reading "This Week in the Fitness Industry: Health Club Initiatives Help Members De-stress."

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This Week in the Fitness Industry: UM Holdings Acquires Majority Equity Position in Gym Source

UM Holdings Acquires Majority Equity Position in Gym Source
Gym Source announced today that UM Holdings Ltd has acquired a majority equity position in Gym Source, the nation’s oldest and largest distributor of high end fitness equipment. UM is owned by John Aglialoro, former chairman of Cybex International. Aglialoro will join Richard Miller, Gym Source’s founder and CEO, to leverage the company’s leadership position to grow, both organically and through acquisition. “John Aglialoro is well known in our industry as a dynamic and creative leader,” Miller said in a release. “We share the same position to expand the Gym Source footprint and to bring the company’s fitness expertise to homes, health clubs, multi-unit housing and other fitness facilities across the country.” Read Gym Source’s full press release on the UM Holdings Ltd acquisition.

IHRSA Represents at Club Industry Show 2016 

Several IHRSA staff, board members, and advocates are attending the Club Industry Show in Chicago this week. Annbeth Eschbach, our first woman board chair and founder and CEO of Exhale Enterprises, received the Lifetime Achievement Award. Allison Flatley, chief strategy officer of Corporate Fitness Works and IHRSA board member, spoke on a panel with Brent Darden, CEO of Brent Darden Consulting, and Bill McBride, president and CEO of Active Wellness and BMC3, covering a range of topics pertaining to leadership. If you’re attending, be sure to stop by the IHRSA booth (booth 110) at the trade show, which is open until 2 p.m. today. 

Only One Month Left to Apply for IHRSA 2017 Awards

Don't miss the November 11 deadline to apply for the following IHRSA awards, which will be presented during IHRSA 2017, March 8-11 in Los Angeles. The Woman Leader Award is in honor of Julie Main, whose tenacious drive and unbreakable spirit was an inspiration to all who knew her. IHRSA celebrates Julie's legacy by offering the Woman Leader Award—including a scholarship to attend the annual International Convention & Trade Show—to a woman who exemplifies Julie's qualities of leadership and drive. The Outstanding Community Service Award recognizes an IHRSA club that has made a longstanding commitment to making a difference in and beyond their community. Learn more and download the applications on the IHRSA awards page. The deadline to apply is November 11, 2016. 

Netpulse Announces Lead Sharing Integration with InTouch Technology
Netpulse, a health club mobile app provider, announced Wednesday that its mobile platform now integrates with InTouch Technology’s lead management solution. The integration enables health clubs to automatically track mobile referrals and guest passes by seamlessly creating and updating leads in the club’s sales management system. This initiates customized prospect follow-up and reminders for the club’s sales team, which decreases the chance of missed sales opportunities. “Netpulse is the clear industry leader for creating mobile apps for clubs, so we felt that it was important for our customers to continue expanding our integration and relationship with them,” said Dana Milkie, president and CEO of InTouch Technology. “Digital lead generation via mobile apps is a priority for sales departments in health clubs. Netpulse and InTouch Technology customers will immediately benefit from a stronger lead management solution.” Read the full Netpulse press release on its InTouch Technology integration.


This Week in the Fitness Industry: Australia’s Goodlife Health Clubs Bought by Quadrant Private Equity

Australia’s Goodlife Health Clubs Bought by Quadrant Private Equity
A new holding company called Fitness and Lifestyle Group Pty Ltd (“FLG”) (funded from Quadrant Entities) has entered a binding agreement to purchase the Goodlife business in Australia. Chris Hadley, QPE executive chaiman and chairman of FLG, said, “we are delighted to join the team at Goodlife, the business fits our investment strategy of bringing together a great brand, strong management team, and culture, with industry growth opportunities. We intend to invest significant capital to further grow the business.” The acquisition by Quadrant is an exciting opportunity for Goodlife and testament to the successful business strategy led by Goodlife Health Clubs CEO, Greg Oliver, which has seen incredibly strong trends in member growth and retention over the past 18 months. Read the full press release on Goodlife Health Clubs. 

IHRSA Prepares for the 17th Annual IHRSA / Fitness Brasil in São Paulo

We’re gearing up to head south to the 17th Annual IHRSA / Fitness Brasil, Latin America’s largest fitness industry conference and trade show, held in São Paulo, Brazil, September 1-3. Since Brazil has been struggling with an economic recession and political instability—all on top of the Summer Olympic Games—much of this year’s event will focus on change and transformation in the industry. The program is designed for all types and sizes of clubs—from established clubs to those that are just starting out in the industry. The program provides educational opportunities in a variety of interactive formats: traditional seminars, how-to sessions, and best practices. IHRSA is committed to investing in Latin America, which, with 55,809 health clubs, has more clubs than any other region worldwide, according to the IHRSA Global Report 2016. The Brazilian health club industry is the largest in Latin America by far, with 31,809 clubs and nearly 8 million total members. Learn everything you need to know about IHRSA / Fitness Brasil. 

McDonalds Removes Fitness Tracker Toy from Happy Meals
In recent years McDonald’s has been trying to improve its unhealthy image—especially when it comes to Happy Meals. The fast food giant has been offering more nutritious options, allowing kids to swap fries for fruit and soda for water. But the chain suffered a major setback last week when it had to recall the fitness trackers that were distributed with Happy Meals because it was causing wrist irritation, The Wall Street Journal reports. The toy tracker began appearing in Happy Meals in the U.S. and Canada on Aug. 9, and its removal from Happy Meals is voluntary, a McDonald’s spokeswoman said. “We have taken this swift and voluntary step after receiving limited reports of potential skin irritations that may be associated from wearing the band,” McDonald’s said in a statement. “Nothing is more important to us than the safety of our customers and we are fully investigating this issue. Our restaurants are now offering our youngest guests an alternative Happy Meal toy.”

Highlights from the Canfitpro World Fitness Expo

Earlier this month, IHRSA staff attended and exhibited at Canfitpro World Fitness Expo in Toronto, Canada—the largest fitness expo in Canada, attracting more than 16,000 fitness professionals, business owners, and consumers from all over the world. The Canadian Industry Forum—presented with the Fitness Industry Council of Canada (FIC)—featured several topical discussions, including boutique fitness studios and the advance of technology. Read our full coverage of the Canfitpro World Fitness Expo.


Life Fitness President Chris Clawson Talks Acquisitions, Competition

In the last few years, Life Fitness President Chris Clawson has had a lot on his plate; he helped oversee the acquisition of two well-known commercial fitness brands, SCIFIT (June 2015) and Cybex International, Inc. (January 2016). 

In the June issue of Club Business International, Clawson discusses how Life Fitness’ recent acquisitions will help take the company to $1.5 billion in revenues by 2020. 

CBI: The last time we touched base with you and Life Fitness, it was to discuss its acquisition of SCIFIT Systems, Inc. No one mentioned then that something was in the works with Cybex International, Inc. So, what happened?

Chris Clawson: I’ll give you a little insider information here. The conversation actually started close to four years ago, when John Aglialoro, the chairman of Cybex, began asking me—and our corporate parent, the Brunswick Corporation—if they could buy Life Fitness, to which Brunswick kept saying, “No, Life Fitness isn’t for sale.”

It culminated last year at IHRSA 2015 when Arthur Hicks, Jr., their president and CEO, came over to our Trade Show booth and said, “We should merge together, and become a single, billion-dollar company. What do you think about that? Do you think Brunswick has changed its position?” I said, “I don’t think they have, but it’s worth having a conversation.”

John followed up around June. He’d spoken with Dusty McCoy, our outgoing CEO, and wanted to know if he should wait until Dusty retired to continue the conversation since Mark Schwabero, our new CEO and chairman, would be taking over soon. To help move things along, I introduced John to Mark. When they met, Mark told John he liked the idea, but that Life Fitness wasn’t selling. Then he asked about buying Cybex. By the next January, we’d consummated the deal.

CBI: How did you reach a price tag of $195 million for Cybex, a privately held company owned by UM Holdings, which is owned, in turn, by John Aglialoro, an industry icon, and his wife, Joan Carter?

CC: It was really a function of the due diligence and valuation processes. I won’t get into the nuances, but we looked at Cybex’s ability to create, distribute, and service—all of the things that make a company strong. It’s about valuing the value they create in the marketplace. It’s a great company, a spectacular brand, and we’re super-excited about it.

CBI: Do you think that the SCIFIT and Cybex acquisitions will lead to increased or, possibly, tempered competition in the commercial fitness equipment arena?

CC: I’m going to leave the competition out of the landscape and include only the customer, because I can’t speak to how our competitors are going to react. But I will say this. Our conversation with the customers has changed in its dynamic a few times over the course of the past two years.

When we did presentations and talked about Life Fitness and Hammer Strength, the conversation was almost exclusively about being fit and exercising. We were Life Fitness, and Hammer Strength, and we were talking to everyone who was exercising. It wasn’t just advanced exercisers. It was everyone who was exercising. But when we could include SCIFIT in the conversation, we could talk to people who were exercising, rehabilitating, or just getting involved in fitness.

Cybex changes the conversation again, giving us another inclusive fitness product, originally built to work for differently-abled people. When you include the Brunswick active recreation products we have—shuffleboard, put- ting greens, table tennis, billiards, air hockey, or foosball—we’re expanding the conversation again by changing what our customers can add to their facilities—e.g., fun. Why can’t you have an area that’s fun? Why does everything have to be work? Why does it have to be a workout? Can’t it be an area where you enjoy what you’re doing, but are also having a workout at the same time?

All of those are ways for us to change the landscape, not just the landscape of exercise and fitness, but of society; to get more people up and moving in a wide variety of ways.

Read Chris Clawson's full interview in the June issue of CBI.


Brunswick Adds Cybex to Its Life Fitness Division for $195 Million 

Life Fitness President Chris Clawson

Brunswick Corporation, owner of Life Fitness, announced that it has acquired fitness equipment maker Cybex International for $195 million.

“With the addition of Cybex, we will expand our stable of brands serving the complete spectrum of the commercial fitness market, including health clubs, hospitality, education and military, as well as consumers, with a wide array of equipment and features that include a complete suite of services and support,” Brunswick President and Chief Operating Officer Mark Schwabero said in a press release. “We believe the combination of these premium brands and industry leaders will be well positioned to serve the global fitness market.”

Cybex’s cardiovascular and strength products span the commercial fitness market, including treadmills, exercise bikes, the Cybex Arc Trainer, plate-loaded weight equipment, and free weights. Cybex’s 2015 sales were estimated at about $169 million.

“The Life Fitness – Cybex combination enables us to approach the market with a broader and deeper product portfolio, and improve our ability to address the faster growing segments of the fitness market,” Schwabero said. “With the addition of Cybex’s manufacturing footprint, we can meet current and future demand and achieve manufacturing cost reduction objectives more effectively and efficiently. This combination provides cost synergies and scale as well as manufacturing and engineering capabilities to further improve our competitiveness and leadership position within the fitness industry."

For more about Life Fitness' future direction, read President Chris Clawson's contribution to 'Industry Outlook: 2016" in the January issue of Club Business International.


Elements fitness for women Announces Florida News

Elements fitness, a lifestyle and fitness brand for women, has some recent company news in Florida.

The Miami-baed company has recently purchased a Lady of America gym and will convert it into an elements location.

Also in Florida, elements has named Laura Butcaris as the Tampa regional supervisor

For more on either of these items, check out the elements news section on its website.


Healthworks Deal Falls Through

Healthworks raised money for the One Fund.In September, IHRSA reported that the Healthworks Group (HW Group), a Boston-based chain, had indicated it was acquiring a Sports Club/LA facility from Equinox, the Manhattan-based chain.

Since then, however, the HW Group has announced that the transaction will not be taking place because of its inability to reach agreement on lease terms for the facility.

The HW Group operates four Healthworks Fitness Centers for Women, two nonp-rofit community centers, and two low-price GymIt clubs in the Boston market.


Genae acquires Elixia club in France

Genae Fitness Clubs announces it has acquired Elixia in Ecully, France. This follows a recent announcement of the opening a club in Toulouse in 2015.

Genae shares similar values to Elixia in its commitment to providing the best customer service to its members by offering responsible and high quality fitness practices,” a press release read. “This compatibility between our values of responsibility, generosity, sincerity and vitality led us to create a mutually positive arrangement for all three parties: Genae, Elixia and, above all, the site’s customers.”

For more information visit


Two women-own corporate wellness companies join forces

Allison Flatley, left, Brenda Loube, center, and Sheila Drohan.In late March, two women-owned, IHRSA-member companies confirmed, unequivocally, the dramatic and positive impact that women are having on American business that’s detailed in The 2013 State of Women-Owned Business Report, commissioned by American Express OPEN.

Corporate Fitness Works (CFW), based in St. Petersburg, Florida, announced that it had acquired L&T Health and Fitness (L&T), which has its headquarters in Falls Church, Virginia, for an undisclosed sum.

Both are leading providers of management and consulting services in the corporate health and fitness market. For 2013, CFW reported that it had revenues of $5.4 million and more than 200 employees, 150 of them full-timers. L&T had revenues of nearly $10 million, 372 employees, 141 of them full-timers, and, since 2000, had been ranked one of the “top 100 fitness companies” in the U.S.

Read on to see how the deal went down, and more.


Equinox buys remaining clubs from Millenium Partners

Equinox Fitness is making a big move in the higher-end fitness market.

Milllenium Partners has sold Sports Club/LA gyms in New York and four other cities, as well as the Reebok Sports Club/NY gym on the Upper West Side of Manhattan to Equinox, which now will have 73 locations.

The $110 million deal will increase the number of Equinox clubs, mostly in major U.S. cities like New York City, Los Angeles and San Francisco.

For more on the sale and Equinox, visit the the the Equinox website.