The Related Companies, L.P. (Related), one of the nation's most prestigious real estate development firms, today announced the acquisition of Equinox Holdings Inc., in partnership with Equinox Company Management. Equinox is the leading operator of upscale fitness clubs in New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, San Francisco and South Florida. Valued at $505 million, the sale is expected to close in January 2006.
The Related Companies, L.P., founded in 1972 by Chairman and CEO Stephen M. Ross, is headquartered in New York City and oversees a real estate portfolio valued in excess of $15 billion. A fully integrated privately owned firm with divisions in development, acquisitions, financial services, property management, marketing and sales, Related is synonymous with architectural and service excellence, and has significant developments, partners and affiliates in Miami, Chicago, Boston, Los Angeles and San Francisco.
Related's historic development of the 2.8 million square foot Time Warner Center has transformed Columbus Circle into one of New York City's premiere destinations and has significantly increased the value of commercial and residential property in the surrounding neighborhoods. Related and Equinox have historically shared similar visions. Both companies are known for their commitment to lifestyle, service, innovation and design, and have a passionate following amongst dedicated upscale consumers.
The companies' respective customers have similar demographic and psychographic profiles and both foster fiercely loyal clientele who are passionate about their brands. Related has redefined the residential marketplace, created the benchmark for sophisticated urban living and has been committed to quality fitness facilities in its buildings since the mid-eighties. Since its inception 15 years ago, Equinox has been widely recognized for being an industry innovator and for delivering an unparalleled fitness experience. Both companies will enjoy a number of key strategic opportunities from the partnership. Related will secure a well known brand as a quality anchor tenant for key current and future developments. This will also help Related to enhance the quality of its amenities and facilities available to residents. Equinox will leverage Related's real estate expertise and relationships to more efficiently secure sites, reducing its site identification and club development costs. Finally, both firms will benefit from current national growth plans already underway in key urban centers.
"Related is proud to be acquiring Equinox, a market leader with a broad portfolio of products, a strong customer-focused culture, a long history of profitability, clearly identified growth opportunities, and an extraordinary management team," stated Ross.
In May 2005, Ross was appointed to the Equinox Board of Directors and at Time Warner Center, Related serves as landlord to the flagship 40,000 square foot club and its innovative "E", a 6,000 square foot elite training facility; the brand's sole invitation only private gym. Harvey Spevak will continue to lead Equinox as CEO and President and the current Equinox management team will remain intact. Since 2000, Equinox has opened 21 new clubs in four new markets and more than doubled its membership. Revenues have grown from $63 million in 2000 to $168 million for the 12-month period ended September of 2005.
The company offers an integrated selection of "Equinox-branded" programs, services and products, including strength and cardio training, group fitness classes, personal training, spa services and products, apparel and food/juice bars. In addition, Related and Equinox already have a luxury condominium project in the works together on the Upper West Side of Manhattan, where Equinox will operate a new 35,000 square foot club.
"We are looking forward to expanding upon the Equinox vision and growth strategy. We see natural synergies as a result of our partnership and are looking forward to creating new products to benefit our customers," stated Jeff T. Blau, President of The Related Companies, L.P.
"We're very excited about the future of Equinox with Related as our partner," said Harvey Spevak. "Given their expertise in the development and management of real estate holdings, and focus on lifestyle, Related will provide strategic value and facilitate the continued growth of the company."
In December of 2000, North Castle Partners (NCP) and J.W. Childs Associates partnered with Harvey Spevak and company management to acquire Equinox Holdings Inc. At that time, the company was a New York centric business. Since its purchase five years ago, Equinox has grown rapidly to become a nationally recognized lifestyle brand. In this transaction, the buyer, Related, was represented by Merrill Lynch and Paul Hastings. For more information about Equinox Fitness, Please visit www.equinoxfitness.com. For more about The Related Companies, L.P Please visit www.related.com.