Friday, August 14, 2009

Goodlife Chain Buys Nubody’s Fitness Clubs

“Strutting along a Halifax boardwalk late last week, fitness guru David (Patch) Patchell-Evans spoke confidently about growing his chain of GoodLife Fitness Clubs from 170 locations to 200 before the end of the year. The CEO knew it was an easy claim to make. He’d just come from a private meeting with Dean Hartman, president and co-owner of Nubody’s Fitness, where he’d agreed to buy the Atlantic chain’s 23 clubs. He couldn’t disclose the details because the agreement still needed to go to the lawyers, but on Thursday Mr. Hartman confirmed the sale, for an undisclosed price, would close on Aug. 31.‘This is a business where you have to drive with both hands wrapped tightly around the wheel. After 27 years of driving that way, I’m looking forward to driving with just one finger,’ said Mr. Hartman in an interview. Interviewed a year ago, Mr. Hartman and Tanya Matthews, his wife and business partner, said they planned to have 35 Nubody’s locations in Atlantic Canada by 2010, and more than 75 in Eastern Canada by 2015. But three months ago, Mr. Patchell-Evans made a serious purchase offer the pair had to consider. ‘It was like all the stars came into alignment,’ said Mr. Hartman. ‘It’s bittersweet because relationships that have been built up over the years are going to change, but it is a good move for the company. I have a lot of respect for Patch and his customer-focused approach.’ Mr. Patchell-Evans said in a release that the customer-focused philosophy of Nubody’s meshes well with his firm’s corporate beliefs, with the strength of both companies meaning more benefits for members and access to more clubs. There will be no changes for staff or for customers, said Mr. Hartman, who will stay with the organization for at least a few months to ensure a smooth transition. He couldn’t say whether the Nubody’s centres will be rebranded under the GoodLife banner, but said that Mr. Patchell-Evans is well aware the Nubody’s brand is very strong in the region.”

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