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Fitness and wellness are the next big thing—in investment


What will an influx of big money mean for your workout?
YogaWorks
(Photo: YogaWorks)

Sure, you’re reminded that boutique fitness studios are booming each time you get placed on the waitlist for spin class. But now, investment firms are noticing in a big way, too. (Wall Street’s wellness maven was obviously on to something.)

According to the Wall Street Journal, YogaWorks sold to a Boston-based private equity firm last week for $45 million, and Barry’s Bootcamp could fetch $100 million in a sale, which the Journal said it was considering (although our insider sources tell us that its reported interest in selling was purely speculative).

But these numbers are just the beginning, the money-focused pub reports: “Piper Jaffray, which advises on deals in the fitness sector, says boutique chains have been adding new studios at a clip of 450% a year since 2010. That makes them the fastest-growing part of the $22-billion-a-year U.S. health-club industry, according to the investment bank.”

We’ve been seeing it all along, of course, from Equinox acquiring SoulCycle in 2011 to Flywheel’s recent influx of capital to CorePower’s big investment last year. And it’s not just fitness.

Wellness brands in other sectors, like juice, are being infused with cash and sold at crazy rates, too, like Organic Avenue’s recent acquisition by private equity firm Weld North and BluePrint’s sale to Hain Celestial.

While the big money being thrown at fitness and wellness businesses could mean more studios and healthy options for those who love going to them, we don’t think this means the prices for these experience are going to drop anytime soon. Though maybe a class-pack sale season isn’t too much to ask? —Lisa Elaine Held

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