The Milton Keynes established business, which was founded in 2003 and operates from their central head office in Fox Milne, has achieved over 80% of its crowdfunding target within the first half of the campaign.
Morgan is widely known for building a global leading brand licensing business, Pacific Direct, over seventeen years before selling a majority shareholding for £20 million. A considered investor who has taken several years to work out her own strategy, Morgan is now adding énergie to a portfolio of investments across the sport and leisure space, including KitBrix, Activbod and Dryrobe.
énergie, whose core purpose is to empower people to transform their lives through health and wellbeing is, according to Morgan, an ideal fit for her investment portfolio. Morgan, a triathlete who competed in the Beijing World Triathlon Championships, is passionate about fitness. She believes énergie's long-term plan – to democratise fitness and open access to hundreds of thousands of non-gym users in the next three years – can deliver growth that will return significant profit for early investors.
The investment from Morgan comes as énergie has been given the seal of approval by independent ratings service Crowdrating. The rating service awarded the company two gold stars and one silver, including a gold star for the leadership team that is set to deliver projected profits over the next three years. The rating places énergie among the top-rated live crowdfunding opportunities.
Jan Spaticchia, CEO of the énergie Group comments: "The endorsement from a world-class entrepreneur like Lara provides a fantastic boost to our campaign and our future. We have been thrilled by the response to this equity offer from franchisees, staff and members. We are now expecting the final shares to be picked up well in advance of the closing date in two weeks’ time.”
Lara Morgan comments: “I only consider investing in businesses that are ethical and which make a difference to people’s lives. I’m convinced that énergie has the capability both to meet its ambitious growth targets and to help many thousands of people lead a more active and healthier life.”
The Launch of Crowdfunding
On May 1st, the énergie Group, the UK’s largest fitness club franchisor, opened a limited equity offer, as it announced growth plans that would establish it as the nation’s biggest fitness brand.
The company, which has 93 fitness clubs trading across the UK and Europe, plans to increase that number to 225 by 2018, and to grow membership from the current level of 110,000 to over 300,000. By 2023, it forecasts over 500 clubs and a million members.
To support the growth of the business, the énergie board is strengthened by the addition of fitness industry grandee Steve Philpott. He was a co-founder of énergie, and now returns to the business as a non-executive director, having previously served as MD of David Lloyd Leisure and chief executive of DC Leisure.
Founded in 2003, énergie was the first major franchise player in the UK fitness market, and now has over 80 franchise holders, with an approximate network turnover of £26 million. Its Fit4Less budget offering, launched in 2008, was one of the first mainstream low-cost fitness brands. Fit4Less, with 59 clubs open, is currently the third-largest budget group behind Pure Gym and Gym Group.
énergie is seeking to raise a minimum of £500K via the Crowdcube fundraising, to support growth through investments in proprietary technology, new premises and a national training academy.
The fundraising comes amid increased investment activity within the fitness sector. The Gym Group went public last year, at a valuation of £250 million, while Pure Gym has announced intentions to float, at a reported valuation of £500 million. énergie Group — which operates the énergie Fitness Club, énergie Fitness for Women and Fit4Less by énergie brands — is currently the third largest fitness group in the UK and Ireland, measured by clubs open. Its 93 clubs compare to Pure Gym’s 166, The Gym Group’s 85, and David Lloyd Leisure’s 84.
The equity offer will remain open on Crowdcube throughout May.
Jan Spaticchia, Chairman and CEO of énergie Group, comments: “We are making no secret of our intention to become the UK’s biggest fitness group and this equity offer is an important first step on that journey. énergie has proven that the franchise model works in fitness and we are now ready to grow to the next stage and challenge for market leadership. We are a company whose success is based on the strength of our franchise community, and now look forward to welcoming many more owners to the énergie family.”