GymNation Reviews Growth Plans amid Management Buyout


GymNation, the homegrown fitness sensation of the UAE, proudly announces a management-led buyout, signaling a transformative chapter in the company’s evolution.

DUBAI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES, November 29, 2023 / — GymNation, the homegrown fitness sensation of the UAE, proudly announces a management-led buyout, signaling a transformative chapter in the company’s evolution. This strategic move involves the acquisition of all equity previously held by JD Gyms and is backed by esteemed partners Tricap Investments and Ruya Partners. The GymNation founders and management team, Loren Holland, Frank Afeaki, and Anthony Martland, now emerge as significant majority shareholders of the brand they founded in 2017.

Tricap Investments, a diversified principal investment group with offices in Washington D.C. and Dubai, specializes in executing both direct and fund investments, as well as private equity transactions. Ruya Partners, an independent private credit firm based in Abu Dhabi, boasts an investor base including institutional funds from the GCC. This includes UAE sovereign-backed Abu Dhabi Catalyst Partners, a joint venture between Mubadala Capital and Alpha Wave Global, and Jada Fund of Funds, a subsidiary of Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund (PIF).

Since its inception, GymNation has fulfilled its mission of making fitness more affordable and accessible for the UAE population. Transforming from a single gym startup to the leading gym operator in the UAE with 12 gyms and over 60,000 members, GymNation has garnered acclaim, being voted “The Best Gym in the UAE” on Virgin Radio’s The Kris Fade Show for the last two years and amassing over 40,000 five-star Google reviews. The brand has become synonymous with being “The People’s Gym,” and now aims to replicate this success across the GCC.

Loren Holland, Founder & CEO of GymNation, expressed his excitement about the management buyout, stating, “This marks another exciting chapter for GymNation. With the support of Tricap Investments and Ruya Partners, we are poised to accelerate GymNation’s growth across the GCC.” He revealed plans for expansion, including six new locations in Saudi Arabia, four more in the UAE, and company formations in Qatar, Bahrain, and Kuwait.

The innovative structure of the deal has enabled GymNation to launch a groundbreaking Equity Incentivization Scheme for the wider management team, attracting and retaining top-tier talent by offering direct equity in the business. Frank Afeaki remarked, “On the day of signing the deal, 15 GymNation management team members also signed their own documentation to become shareholders in the business. I am proud that we are able to reward the team in a way that no others within the industry do.”

As GymNation reviews their growth plans, the management team will consider a wide range of strategies for increasing revenue, customer acquisition, and market penetration. Some of the key ideas under consideration include:

Technology Integration for Enhanced Member Experience: Delve into and seamlessly integrate cutting-edge technologies, such as state-of-the-art virtual fitness platforms, interactive mobile applications, and innovative wearable devices. This strategic approach aims to elevate and personalize the overall member experience, fostering heightened engagement and satisfaction.

Strategic Regional Partnerships: Cultivate meaningful and mutually beneficial alliances with local businesses, fitness influencers, and wellness advocates to exponentially amplify GymNation’s impact in the GCC region. Engaging in collaborative ventures, co-branded initiatives, and joint promotions can not only strengthen GymNation’s brand presence but also foster a sense of community and shared commitment to health and fitness within the region.

Sustainable Gym Practices: Pioneer and actively implement a comprehensive array of sustainable practices within GymNation’s operations, encompassing energy-efficient technologies, eco-friendly sourcing, waste reduction initiatives, and community-focused environmental programs. This commitment aligns the brand with environmental consciousness and promotes responsible business practices, ensuring a positive impact on both the community and the planet.

The management team expresses confidence in the GymNation growth story, with exceptional support from ongoing investments in key technology and systems that will position GymNation at the forefront of the fitness industry.The management team received advisory support from James Wigglesworth at Orca Capital (Corporate Finance), DLA Piper (Legal), Tatsu Partners (Debt Advisory), and PwC (Financial, Tax, and Commercial Vendor Due Diligence). Tricap Investments, Ruya Partners, and their advisors TAAS Partners (Legal) and Dentons (Legal) played crucial roles in facilitating the successful management buyout.

About GymNation
Founded in 2017 by Loren Holland, Frank Afeaki, and Ant Martland, GymNation is a homegrown UAE brand that prioritizes making fitness and wellness accessible to everyone. Guided by the philosophy “Fitness First…Not Profits First,” GymNation revolutionized the fitness industry by offering world-class facilities at a fraction of the cost. With 12 gyms across the UAE, GymNation is a trailblazer in providing inclusive fitness experiences.

For more information about GymNation and its range of fitness and wellness services, please visit the official website or check out GymNation reviews at the following sites:
GymNation Reviews Al Quoz
GymNation Reviews Bur Dubai
GymNation Reviews Downtown Dubai

Jason Phillips
Market News
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