Direct Investments

NORD Holding completes merger of Jumpers and AI Fitness to create one of the leading providers in premium discount fitness sector in Germany


NORD Holding has merged its portfolio company Jumpers with Ai Fitness. The two entities together form a new platform, the 'BestFit Group', which will focus on the growing premium discount fitness sector in Germany. The new group is a leading provider with well over 210,000 members, 64 studios and a strong presence in southern and western Germany. Marius Neugebauer, founder of Ai Fitness, has a significant stake in the new group and moves to the Advisory Board, while Jumpers founder and managing partner Stephan Schulan takes over as managing director of the BestFit Group.

The new platform represents a significant expansion of NORD Holding's involvement in the growing and dynamic premium discount fitness sector. This sector, which offers members a wide range of services at attractive price points, is recording the highest growth rate in the German fitness market. The combined group aims for further acquisitions to expand its market position and leverage these structural tailwinds.

Since 2013, NORD Holding has been supporting the Jumpers Group, founded in 2008, on its path towards becoming a leading provider in the premium discount fitness sector in southern Germany. During the NORD Holding ownership, the number of studios has increased from 10 to currently 36, while memberships have expanded from some 20,000 to nearly 90,000.

The Ai Fitness Group is a proven pioneer in the discount fitness sector since its foundation in 2003. With its all-inclusive offer, the group currently has over 120,000 members and 28 studios.

"We are delighted that following several years of organic growth at Jumpers, the merger with Ai Fitness gives us the opportunity to build a leading premium discount business across Germany," says Rainer Effinger, Managing Director of NORD Holding. "The fact that we have been able to conclude this transaction, despite the current very difficult conditions brought about by the coronavirus pandemic, shows that we are convinced of the long-term success of this business model."

Stephan Schulan, founder and managing partner of Jumpers Fitness, comments: "In Ai Fitness we have found a strong player and the acquisition will allow us to grow in a sustainable and high quality manner. Our target is for 100 clubs by 2023."

The transaction has been supported by financing with an overall volume of more than € 100 million, which has been provided by a reputable debt fund. Besides acquisition financing this also includes significant add-on facilities.

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For NORD Holding, the BestFit Group marks its fourth investment in the 'consumer and healthcare' sector in 2020. This reinforces the sector-specific investment strategy of focusing on sustainable megatrends in society, such as increased health-consciousness and an active lifestyle.

On the part of NORD Holding the transaction was executed by Rainer Effinger, Maximilian Frey and Christoph Grunewald.

About AI Fitness

Ai Fitness is a leading provider in the premium discount sector in the German states of North Rhine Westphalia and Lower Saxony. Having developed from its initial club opening in the city of Duisburg in 2003, Ai Fitness now operates 28 studios with a staff of over 600. As one of the pioneers of the premium discount sector, Ai Fitness appeals to its members with attractive sites, an all-inclusive concept offering a wide range of fitness facilities and a pleasant gym atmosphere.

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About Jumpers Fitness

The Jumpers Group is one of the leading premium discount groups in southern Germany. Founded in Rosenheim in 2008, Jumpers currently operates 36 clubs with a staff of over 400. Since 2013 Jumpers has experienced a dynamic growth history, both organic and inorganic, with 19 new openings under its own name and a further 7 club acquisitions. Members value above all the very personalised range of fitness activities offered by studios in the Jumpers Group, as well as their modern facilities and central locations.

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With a 50-year history and assets under management of € 2.5 billion NORD Holding is one of the leading private equity asset management companies in Germany. The focus is on the direct investment and fund of funds investment divisions.

The focus of direct business is on structuring and financing corporate succession models, the takeover of group divisions/subsidiaries and expansion financing for medium-sized companies. In contrast to most other financial investors who only manage funds for a limited period NORD Holding acts as a so-called "evergreen fund" with no time limit and invests from its own balance sheet. At present the company is invested in more than 15 companies in Germany and other German-speaking countries.

The Fund Investments division targets the small-cap segment of the European private equity market and focuses on primary, secondary and co-investments. NORD Holding concentrates strongly on buyout managers newly established on the market, operational investment strategies and regularly acts as an anchor investor.

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NORD Holding
Unternehmensbeteiligungsgesellschaft mbH
Walderseestraße 23
30177 Hannover