Friday 23 August, 2019

Express Fitness acquired by Norbrook Equity

Express Fitness has 11 locations across the island.

Express Fitness has 11 locations across the island.

Norbrook Equity Partners has acquired a 70 per cent stake in popular gym chain, Express Fitness.

Founded by Khary Robinson, Norbrook owns and operates 14 companies in the Caribbean, the US and West Arica including, in Jamaica, e-commerce logistics firm Mailpac, transaction processing company ePay and ice manufacturing and distribution firm, Pure National.

Robinson said the company aims to leverage its tenured investment and operating expertise to further Express Fitness’ mission of becoming the leading provider of health and wellness solutions across the region.

“With the continued growth and awareness of the health and wellness in the Caribbean, we saw the opportunity to leverage the superior brand and infrastructure of Express Fitness to develop the first wellness platform in the region,” Robinson said.

Though declining to reveal the cost to acquire the network of eleven 24-hour-gym facilities, Robinson said Norbrook will inject over $300 million of “fresh capital in the business” to pursue a mix of acquisitions and organic growth initiatives to grow Express Fitness.

The Norbrook Equity executive chairman said plans are underway to open two more locations in Kingston, one in Ocho Rios and in May Pen, taking the total number of locations to 15 by year-end.

“We also have a few existing sites that we are in discussions to acquire,” Robinson said, noting that the locations are primed for the 24-hour gym concept.

Khary Robinson, executive chairman of Norbrook Equity Partners

Robinson is also keen on further expanding the Express Fitness customer base and is evaluating additional services such as cross-training, boxing, football and boot camps.

Norbrook Group CEO Garth Pearce added: “even though consumers have experienced significant enhancement in fitness offerings over the past few years, the surface has barely been scratched and we are excited to dive in.”

The plan for Norbrook to drive the regional expansion of Express began in late 2017 when they approached the owners of Express to acquire a controlling stake in the rapidly expanding business that was founded by husband and wife duo, Ansel and Jacqueline Clarke.

Express was created to provide Jamaicans with convenient access to premium fitness facilities at an affordable price.

“We quickly identified a significant opportunity for the company to expand throughout Jamaica and the Caribbean but knew we needed the right partner to realize the potential. After spending meaningful time with the team at Norbrook and seeing how well they operated their other businesses, we decided to accept their offer and partner with them going forward,” Ansel Clarke said.

By successfully addressing the growing needs in the market, the company expanded over six years into the leading fitness chain in Jamaica with 11 locations across Jamaica.

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