North Castle Partners announced its new strategic partnership with CR Fitness, a leading franchise group in the Crunch Fitness network in the Southeastern United States. As a private equity firm focused on consumer businesses that promote Healthy, Active and Sustainable Living, North Castle has a long history of partnering with management teams in the fitness industry. The terms of the investment were not disclosed.

Headquartered in Brandon, FL, CR Fitness intends to rapidly expand its Crunch gym footprint across the U.S. The company currently operates 20 locations in Florida (Tampa, Sarasota, Clearwater, Orlando) and Atlanta and is set to open three more locations in 2019. In its partnership with North Castle, CR Fitness will expand both regionally and nationally through a mix of new greenfield locations and acquisitions.

“We are excited to welcome the management team of CR Fitness to the North Castle family and to re-enter the traditional fitness club space—especially the attractive high-value, low-price segment in which Crunch operates. Our passion for the fitness industry dates back to one of North Castle’s original investments in Equinox Fitness almost 19 years ago,” said Jon Canarick, North Castle Managing Director.

CR Fitness is North Castle’s ninth partnership with fitness and fitness equipment industry entrepreneurs and executives in companies ranging from traditional fitness clubs (Equinox and World Health Club) to fitness equipment (Octane Fitness and HydroMassage) to boutique fitness (Barry’s Bootcamp, Brooklyn Boulders, SLT, and Curves).

“As seasoned fitness industry entrepreneurs and executives, we were looking for a partner that understood the opportunities and challenges specific to the fitness industry. After meeting the North Castle team with their extensive industry network and experience, we believe we have found a true partner with the knowledge and expertise to deliver real value to our business. We are looking forward to leveraging the power of their focus to grow our franchise through both continued greenfield expansion and acquisitions,” commented Vince Julien, CEO CR Fitness.

“At the core, North Castle’s Value & Values approach provides a foundation that is supportive and true to the CR Fitness mission and the way we operate as a Crunch Fitness franchisee. It’s the combination of community, hard work, fun, and, of course, results. North Castle understands our customer, our space, and the opportunities to create new partnerships with other franchisees. We are confident that, in partnership with North Castle, we can achieve our goal of growing to 100 clubs within our existing markets,” added Geoff Dyer, President CR Fitness.

Crunch Fitness centers serve over 1.3 million members across the United States, Australia, Canada, and Spain. Founded in 1989 in New York City, Crunch has been committed to providing members with high-quality training and service in convenient locations at an affordable price point for more than 30 years. Crunch is a gym that believes in making serious exercise fun by fusing fitness and entertainment and pioneering a philosophy of ‘No Judgments.’ Crunch serves a fitness community for all types of people, with all types of goals, exercising all different ways; working it out at the same place together and is renowned for creating one-of-a-kind group fitness classes with unique programming.

“We are thrilled to have North Castle Partners join the Crunch family along with the great team at CR Fitness. North Castle Partners has a fantastic history in the health and fitness sector and we are very excited for everything this new partnership will bring to Crunch,” said Ben Midgley, CEO of Crunch Franchising.

“For more than 20 years, the foundation of the North Castle approach has been to partner with exceptional management teams and industry professionals to unlock the full potential performance of companies in the Healthy, Active and Sustainable Living sector. We believe that our partnership with the CR Fitness team will help grow the Crunch Fitness community and take CR Fitness to its next level of success,” concluded Chip Baird, North Castle Founder, CEO.

North Castle was represented by Morrison Cohen LLP while Katten Muchin Rosenman LLP served as legal advisor for CR Fitness. Harris Williams served as financial advisor to North Castle and Piper Jaffray & Co served as the financial advisor to CR Fitness.