United Fitness Brands (UFB), the recently launched ‘supergroup’ of boutique fitness brands, has acquired Barrecore, the barre studio operator.
Barrecore will become the third brand in UFB's portfolio – joining Boom Cycle and KOBOX – and adds 12 sites to the group's estate.
The acquisition will extend the UFB portfolio to more than 20 sites and – thanks to Barrecore's studios in Alderley Edge, Hale and Bristol – will establish it as a national operator.
Founded in 2011, Barrecore is currently in the process of opening its 13th location in Leeds.
Barrecore has attracted a celebrity following, with the likes of Pippa Middleton, Claudia Schiffer, Rita Ora and Poppy Delevingne being fans of the workouts.
Joe Cohen, CEO of UFB, said: "Barrecore has established itself as a premium fitness and
wellbeing brand over the past decade, and we’re very excited to now have it under the UFB umbrella.
"We will have the opportunity to further improve the incredible work the team at Barrecore has done so far and we look forward to creating new synergies and best processes for all brands with our vast collective knowledge in this industry."
Barrecore will now be owned by UFB, which is backed by Pembroke VCT, Nectar Capital Dominvs Group, and chaired by David Lloyd, founder of David Lloyd Leisure Clubs.
The group has outlined plans for "immediate expansion" upon COVID-19 restrictions lifting, with KOBOX opening its fourth studio within one of Boom Cycle’s current locations in Waterloo, London.
Meanwhile, Barrecore will open on the first floor of KOBOX’s flagship studio on the King’s Road, Chelsea, London.
Both studios are set for a Q2 2021 launch.
Preet Ahluwalia, director of Dominvs Group, said: "We're supporting UFB as
they build a fiercely disruptive fitness supergroup, bringing together many of the country's finest brands.
"As investors, we have always been drawn to businesses run by ambitious people with deep sector expertise and strong visions, and the team behind UFB have these traits in abundance."
Within the UFB group, each brand will continue to be run by their expert teams under a senior management team at UFB.
Scott Rudmann, founder and managing partner of Nectar Capital, said: “Keeping each brand operating with a separate identity and its own DNA allows for the experts in each fitness vertical to do what they do best.
"The support, connections, and combined central resources means each marketing investment goes further, there are greater economies of scale, and this creates an automatic forum for sharing ideas amongst the most talented fitness executives."
UFB was launched this year, after the founders of indoor cycling studio operator Boom Cycle teamed up with the owners of 'fight club meets nightclub' boxing studio, KOBOX.
Hilary Rowland, co-founder of Boom Cycle and one of the driving forces behind UFB, said: "United Fitness Brands will be on the lookout for brands to join the group that mean more than just a workout to their communities; brands that create collective effervescence and positive escapism – both of which are needed now more than ever.
"This is just the beginning, and we’re excited to start building from here.”
• To read an interview with the founders of UFB, click here for HCM Issue 3/2021