Mark Wahlberg-Backed Fitness Franchisor F45 Training Files For A $100 Million IPO

Fitness franchise company F45 Training, Austin, Texas, has filed an initial public offering, according to an S-1 filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.  Actor Mark Wahlberg owns 4.6 percent of the company, partly controls another 46.1 percent through a company called MWIG LLC, serves on the company’s board since investing in 2019 and is a franchisee.

Insights into the process may not be as forthcoming as in some other IPOs due to the size of the company. The filing states: “We are an ‘emerging growth company’ and a ‘smaller reporting company’ as defined under the federal securities laws and, as such, may elect to comply with certain reduced disclosure requirements for this prospectus and future filings.”

Wahlberg and other pre-IPO shareholders will offer shares to the public, although the filing doesn’t state how many shares they would offer, how many shares outstanding the company will have or the expected price range for the stock. It does state that it will use money raised to repay debt, pay cash bonuses to some employees, fund working capital and take care of other expenses.  A date to go public is not specified in the filing, but if the IPO goes through, it will trade as FXLV on the New York Stock Exchange.

F45 Training’s 2019 revenue was $93 million, which was a 60 percent revenue growth year over year, but in 2020 with temporary gym closures due to COVID-19, revenue decreased by $10.4 million to $82.3 million.  F45 Training was founded in 2013 in Sydney, Australia by CEO and co-founder Adam Gilchrist, expanding by initially selling franchises to members of the original studio and then expanding further by opening nearly 200 studios during the following 30 months. Almost all of F45 Training’s facilities are franchised. In less than eight years, the company had 2,247 total franchises sold in 63 countries, including 1,487 total open studios. Of those studios, 1,286 had re-opened as of March 31, 2021, after temporary closures related to the COVID-19 pandemic.

In addition to a relationship with Wahlberg, the company also has relationships with former basketball player Magic Johnson, former soccer player David Beckham and golfer Greg Norman, although the filing doesn’t specify what the relationships are.