Wahlberg-Backed F45 Training Gains Little in Trading Debut
(Bloomberg) -- F45 Training Holdings Inc., the provider of group fitness classes backed by actor Mark Wahlberg, rose as much as 11% and then lost most of those gains in its trading debut after a $325 million initial public offering.
In a listing that was delayed by the coronavirus pandemic and then sidetracked by a blank-check merger deal that fell apart, F45 and an investor that includes Wahlberg sold more than 20 million shares for $16 each Wednesday after marketing them for $15 to $17. The shares, which opened Thursday at $17, closed up 1.3% from the offer price to $16.20, giving F45 a market value of $1.46 billion.
Wahlberg invested in F45 through a private investment vehicle called MWIG LLC, which sold almost 1.6 million shares in the IPO. Wahlberg owns about 26% of the membership interest in MWIG, according to F45’s filings.
F45, whose name is a mash-up of “functional training” and the 45-minute duration of its classes, started in Australia and is now based in Austin, Texas, had filed confidentially for an IPO, Bloomberg News reported in January 2020. Within a few months, it had put those plans on ice as the pandemic forced gyms and similar businesses to close.
In June 2020, F45 instead struck a deal to go public by merging with Crescent Acquisition Corp., a special purpose acquisition company, or SPAC. That agreement, which would have valued the combined company at $845 million including debt, was terminated in October.
Adam Gilchrist, F45’s chief executive officer, said in a joint statement at the time that the “prolonged uncertainty around the pandemic” kept the combination from being completed.
For the first three months of 2021, F45 had a net loss of $37 million on revenue of $18 million, compared with a loss of $733,000 on $25 million revenue during the same period last year, according to its filings.
The offering was led by Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and JPMorgan Chase & Co. The shares are trading Thursday on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol FXLV, which incorporates the Roman numeral for 45.
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