The combined entity, Evolution Wellness will comprise of 152 fitness clubs across the territory, bringing together two of the most experienced management teams in the Asian health and fitness industry.
“We’re turning the page and beginning an exciting new chapter for Celebrity Fitness and Fitness First,” explained Simon Flint, CEO at Evolution Wellness.
“Joining forces will allow us to operate with increased scale, reach, and efficiency, to enhance our members’ experience through the continued expansion of our club networks, faster innovation, and product evolution, as well as improved service standards.”
With both brands having established themselves as pioneering and trusted names in the health and fitness sector, Flint is confident the merger will further energise the Asia fitness market.
The joint network, which will serve approximately 400,000 members, will have a significant presence in the region post-merger, with operational scale in four key countries – Indonesia with 46 clubs; Malaysia with 35 clubs; Thailand with 28 clubs; and Singapore with 21 clubs. It is hoped the increased scale of operations will better allow Evolution Wellness to capture opportunities in the region, as well as leverage social trends including population growth, increasing urbanisation and rising health awareness.
Suggesting that both companies complement each other in their distinctive brand identities and market positioning, CEO at Celebrity Fitness, Martin Darby argued that the merger “will enable both brands to expand faster and move into new Asian countries.”
Revealing further plans to enhance member access privileges across the combined network, and build on the current network of 152 clubs throughout Asia with new locations, both brands have said they will continue to innovate and develop proprietary group fitness programmes. This will include the introduction of pay-as-you-go group fitness packages and the integration of technology for an enhanced member experience and convenience.
On the backend, both Celebrity Fitness and Fitness First employees are expected to benefit from expanded career progression paths, enhanced talent mobility opportunities, and access to broader learning and development programmes and proprietary fitness expertise.
According to Oaktree Capital Management and Navis Capital Partners, owners of Fitness First and Celebrity Fitness respectively, they will own an equal share in Evolution Wellness – their renewed support highlighting the opportunities present in the Asian health and fitness sector.
But while the investors concentrate on leveraging market growth and establishing a strong platform to position Evolution Wellness as a market leader, Flint is quick to highlight Fitness First’s pledge to serve its existing members.
“We’ve worked hard over the last fifteen years to build a reputation based on trust, and we remain committed to bringing health and wellness to thousands more people across the region,” he stressed.