Gym operator Life Time Fitness to be sold in latest health industry deal

Life Time Fitness Inc. will be acquired in a deal driven by private-equity firms

Life Time Fitness Inc., a gym operator concentrated in the Midwest, said Monday it would be acquired by private-equity firms Leonard Green & Partners and TPG for $2.8 billion.

Additional investors include LNK Partners and current Life Time Chief Executive Bahram Akradi, who will remain in his role.

The investors will acquire all outstanding shares of the Chanhassen, Minn.-based company's common stock for $72.10 per share in cash. Including debt, the deal is valued at more than $4 billion.

Life Time operates 114 fitness centers in the U.S. and Canada, including one in Laguna Niguel, Calif. The company plans to open two additional California centers in Folsom and Roseville, according to its website.

“We are confident that we will have a long and successful partnership as we continue to serve Life Time’s many loyal members and customers,” said John Danhakl, managing partner of Leonard Green & Partners, in a statement.

The Life Time deal is just one example of private-equity firms' interest in the fitness sector. Leonard Green & Partners also invests in Equinox Fitness, the New York-based gym operator, and last year the privately held San Ramon-based 24 Hour Fitness was acquired by AEA Investors, a Canadian teachers' pension plan and Fitness Capital Partners.

The deal must still be approved by Life Time's shareholders and is expected to close in the third quarter of 2015.

Shares of Life Time Fitness were up $3.44, or 5.1%, to $70.64 in midday trading.

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