Dallas-based Gold’s Gym will be acquired by German fitness company RSG Group for around $ 100 million.
Amid economic pressures from the pandemic lockdown, the fitness chain file for bankruptcy protection Chapter 11 May 4 to restructure its debt and close the location. Gold closed 32 clubs as part of bankruptcy, including three in the Dallas area.
The gym chain will emerge from bankruptcy with 61 company-owned gyms and more than 600 franchise locations, according to the RSG Group. This sale is subject to approval by the US Bankruptcy Court on July 24.
“Gold’s Gym is a fitness institution that has a big influence on the development of the industry,” RSG founder and CEO Rainer Schaller said in a statement. “That was a great source of inspiration when I founded my first McFIT studio in Würzburg, Germany, in 1997.”
Schaller said he was committed to bringing “new life into this iconic brand.” RSG Group McFit, the largest fitness chain in Germany, employs around 5,000 people in more than 300 locations in 48 countries.
Billionaire Robert Rowling’s parent company, TRT Holdings Inc., had owned the Gold’s Gym since 2004, then bought for $ 158 million. The parent company explored gym sales in 2018 but canceled them and hired a new CEO, Adam Zeitsiff, with plans to reinvest in a chain.
“For us, this acquisition will open up new opportunities to lead Gold’s Gym to a strong future together,” Zeitsiff said in a statement. “My team and I are very happy to be partnering with RSG and we look forward to many successes for our team members, our members, and our global brands.”
During bankruptcy, Gold has recently taken steps to develop a franchise model. That includes the option to build a smaller gym that requires less investment in the hope of making the franchise accessible to a broader plot of potential operators.
The acquisition of RSG Group is expected to trigger the expansion of Gold to six continents, according to the company.
Joe Gold opened the first Gold’s Gym in 1965 in Venice Beach, California, long before the fitness club existed. Nicknamed “Mecca of Bodybuilding,” it was featured in the 1977 film Pumping iron, starring Arnold Schwarzenegger.
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