Morphosis Capital Fund I, a private equity fund focused on Romanian SMEs, announces the acquisition of the majority stake in Stay Fit Gym, the second largest chain of gyms in Romania by the number of locations. The partnership between the two entities envisages the expansion of Stay Fit Gym at the national level in order to democratize the population’s access to the gyms in Romania. The deal with Stay Fit Gym marks the third transaction closed by Morphosis Capital in the last six months.
“Stay Fit Gym has managed to develop a healthy business model, targeting consumer market where the value for money is fundamental. We are delighted about our partnership with Morphosis Capital since together, we have an opportunity to grow rapidly at a national level by opening new fitness centers in locations where there is a high need for our services and a promising customer base. We rely on the fact that the Romanian fitness market will double in the coming years, and thus, through our fitness centers, we want to become a reference point in adopting a healthy lifestyle. With the development of technology and the widespread implementation of digitalization, more and more people are beginning to pay greater attention to maintaining good physical and mental health. As for the Stay Fit Gym, our members benefit from premium equipment and excellent training conditions, these being principles from which we will never deviate in our activity,” stated Alexandru Lascar, CEO of Stay Fit Gym.
Founded in 2012 by three Romanian entrepreneurs – Alexandru Lascar (CEO), Marius Preodisteanu (Head of Expansion), and Laurentiu Lascar (COO), Stay Fit Gym currently operates seven fitness centers in Bucharest. The gyms offer various services to customers who want to engage in various physical activities such as aerobics and functional training classes, work with a personal trainer, or visit the sauna. All seven fitness centers are equipped with state-of-the-art equipment.
In 2019, Stay Fit Gym reported a turnover of 7.9 million lei. In 2020, the company was affected by the COVID-19 pandemic crisis however, despite these difficulties, Stay Fit Gym managed to generate a turnover of 7.1 million lei.
“We are glad about the successful completion of the transaction and the beginning of our partnership with Stay Fit Gym. We are also thrilled about Morphosis Capital’s entry into a sector that promotes a healthy lifestyle to the Romanian population. According to market studies, the fitness sector in Romania has a significant potential for development compared to the other countries in Central and Eastern Europe. Currently, the Romanian fitness market has an estimated value of 250 million euros, while it is estimated at over one billion euros in Poland, a comparable CEE economy. Therefore, to tap this potential, we want Stay Fit Gym to penetrate cities, residential areas and office buildings which currently show large demand for fitness activity. I am convinced that together we have all the ingredients to expand nationally, targeting the opening of 25 to 30 Stay Fit Gym new fitness centers across Romania,” stated Andrei Gemeneanu, Managing Partner at Morphosis Capital.
The value of the investment in Stay Fit Gym is within the usual range of 5-10 million euros invested by Morphosis Capital. The capital infusion from the private equity fund will contribute to the expansion of Stay Fit Gym in Bucharest and Romanian cities with a population of over 100,000 inhabitants, through the opening of new fitness centers, and through an M&A activity – the acquisition of independent operators.
“We look forward to this partnership with Morphosis Capital, which will help us strengthen our market position and expand rapidly. Together, we will fulfill the original dream of our brand, namely to bring the Stay Fit Gym concept to as many cities as possible, promising substantial investments that will be reflected in quality services delivered to our customers. We are already the second largest chain of fitness centers in Romania, and together with Morphosis, we have real chances to become a recognizable player on the Romanian wellness market,” stated Marius Preodisteanu, Head of Expansion Stay Fit Gym.
The transaction between Morphosis Capital and Stay Fit Gym was facilitated by the law firm Mihaela Mindru Law Office, acting as an advisor to Morphosis Capital, and ZVD Attorneys, acting as an advisor to Stay Fit Gym. Mazars carried out the financial and fiscal due diligence process for Morphosis Capital.
The investment in Stay Fit Gym marks the sixth transaction for Morphosis Capital, which currently holds stakes in DocProcess, Medima Health, Dr. Leahu Dental Clinics, EMI, and Cronos Med.
About Stay Fit Gym
Stay Fit Gym, founded in 2012 by three Romanian entrepreneurs, is currently the second-largest chain of gyms in Romania by the number of locations. The company operates seven fitness centers in Bucharest. The gyms offer various services to customers who want to engage in various physical activities such as aerobics and functional training classes, work with a personal trainer, or visit the sauna. All seven fitness centers are equipped with state-of-the-art equipment.
About Morphosis Capital
Morphosis Capital is a private equity fund with 50 million euro committed capital. Established in December 2018 by four Romanian entrepreneurs, Simona Gemeneanu, Gabriela Dumitru, Dragos Petre, and Andrei Gemeneanu, the Fund aims to contribute to the development and transformation of the Romanian SMEs. The European Investment Fund (EIF), the leading financing platform for European SMEs, co-financed through the Regional Operational Programme, is the anchor investor in Morphosis Capital, while the founders themselves are the co-investors in the fund. Morphosis Capital invests between five to ten million euro in high growth Romanian companies from sectors such as niche healthcare, technology, manufacturing and B2B services, which have a strong potential for international expansion and an EBITDA of a minimum half a million euro. Morphosis Capital portfolio includes DocProcess, Medima Health, Dr. Leahu Dental Clinics, EMI, Cronos Med and Stay Fit Gym.