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Equinox buys SoulCycle and plans major expansion

SoulCycle Equinox
 Cofounders Julie Rice and Elizabeth Cutler will continue to steer the SoulCycle brand, which is now owned by Equinox

After rumors, and a New York Post article, that Equinox gyms and popular spin studio SoulCycle were in talks to team up, the news was confirmed this morning.

Cofounders Julie Rice and Elizabeth Cutler wrote the following in an email to their whole “Soul community”:

“Five years ago in a rear lobby on West 72nd Street, with 33 stationary bikes and the help of your incredible energy, a fitness revolution was born in New York City. Today, we are ready to bring SoulCycle to the world.

We have spent many months “soul searching,” and investigating ways to bring our cardio party to the people. This morning we are excited to share with you that we have formed a strategic partnership with Equinox.”

Rice and Cutler assured existing clients that nothing will change—same boutique fitness studio experience, same “awesome teachers,” same pay-per-class pricing instead of a membership model. (To be honest, we were kinda hoping for a deal on this point.)

What will change? Equinox will help SoulCycle with the world domination part of its business.

“By combining the SoulCycle brand with Equinox’s resources, we now have what we need to roll out SoulCycle’s innovative programming to more people around the country… and beyond,” says the email. Rice and Cutler will continue to run the company. We also have yet to learn, however, if this means an upgrade for Equinox’s snooze of a spin program.

Flywheel Sports, SoulCycle’s competitor, recently announced the roll out of its TorqBoard stadium-seating  studios in South Beach, Chicago, and Atlanta this spring. According to several reports Equinox also considered buying Flywheel. And proving that the spin wars are nothing if not personal (remember that Flywheel’s Ruth Zukerman was originally a SoulCycle founder), Harvey Spevak, CEO of Equinox, couldn’t resist including this jab in a press release:

“We evaluated several other studio cycling operators as investment or acquisition targets, however, we believe the SoulCycle vision, brand and team are far superior.” That’s Harsh, Harvey.

This relationship with Equinox sounds designed to help SoulCycle keep pace, if not build in some serious sprints. With Equinox’s resources, the company plans to kick into high gear, expanding from 8 to 40 locations, with multiple studios in Los Angeles, as well as London, and beyond.

We’ll continue to keep you posted throughout the week as we learn more. —Melisse Gelula and Alexia Brue