NEW YORK, Jan. 20 /PRNewswire/ -- Marc Tascher, a health club industry veteran, and the private equity group of Angelo, Gordon & Co. ("Angelo Gordon") today announced that they have successfully completed the acquisition of Crunch Fitness ("Crunch"), one of the premier health club chains in the U.S. and a leading brand in the fitness industry. Under the terms of the agreement, Tascher and Angelo Gordon have acquired all of the Crunch sites in New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, Atlanta, Miami and San Francisco, as well as two Gorilla Sports Clubs and two Pinnacle Fitness clubs in San Francisco, from Bally Total Fitness (NYSE: BFT) for $45 million. The new company will be called "Crunch Fitness" and all clubs will operate under the Crunch Fitness brand, beginning first quarter 2006. Mr. Tascher, co-founder and former Chairman and CEO of Town Sport International, Inc., has been named Chairman and CEO of Crunch Fitness. In addition to the 25 Crunch clubs, the new company will include seven additional health clubs owned and operated by Tascher's previous company, Sports and Fitness Ventures, LLC ("SFV"). These clubs, which will also be converted into the Crunch brand, include Ft. Greene, and Park Slope Sports Clubs in Brooklyn, New York; Hauppauge Sports Club on Long Island; West End Sports Club and Union Square Sports Club (opening in April 2006) in Manhattan; Rock Creek Sports Club in Silver Spring, Md.; and Thomas Circle Sports Club in Washington, DC. "Crunch is one of the best-known and most respected brands in the fitness industry and we are very excited to have an opportunity to build on the reputation for quality that has been established since Crunch opened its first fitness center in 1989," said Mr. Tascher. "I have been extremely impressed with the entire Crunch team who is the heart and soul of the company. I am enthusiastically looking forward to working with them to build upon Crunch's core strengths of providing members with creative programming and a unique and fun fitness experience." As part of the commitment to growth, Crunch Fitness has an aggressive plan for club conversions, which includes $15,000,000 million for new equipment, capital improvements, and increased marketing. In addition, there are plans to expand Crunch's presence by adding several new locations in the coming year." There are now a total of 32 Crunch Fitness locations across the U.S., with 15 in New York, six in San Francisco, five in Chicago, two in Atlanta, two in D.C., one in Los Angeles and one in Miami. Crunch also has a number of high-profile partnerships and joint marketing relationships including Club Med, Nike, and Jet Blue that capitalize on its strong brand name and cache. Mr. Tascher partnered on this transaction with the private equity group of Angelo Gordon. Angelo Gordon was founded in 1988 and currently has over 50 investment professionals managing approximately $9 billion in capital across multiple investment strategies. The private equity group currently manages over $800 million in existing and committed capital. "We believe Crunch is uniquely positioned for growth in its core urban markets as well as in new markets given its tremendous brand name recognition and loyal membership base," said Brent Leffel, a Director in the private equity group of Angelo Gordon. "We have earmarked a significant amount of capital to upgrade existing clubs and expand our footprint. We are excited about partnering with Marc and the entire Crunch team in unlocking the substantial value in the company." Peter F. Moore of Sagent Advisors Inc. initiated the partnership between Angelo Gordon and Marc Tascher on this transaction and acted as the exclusive financial advisor to Angelo Gordon.
SOURCE Crunch Fitness