GoodLife Fitness Closes $125M in Debt Financing

Canadian gym operator GoodLife Fitness Centres Inc. has raised $125 million in debt financing. Penfund, a provider of junior capital to middle-market companies, led the round, which included participation from Macquarie Bank, Manulife Capital, GRI Investments Inc., The Canadian Medical Protective Association and the Teachers’ Retirement Allowances Fund Board. The money is aimed at helping GoodLife financing growth, and re-finance its existing debt.

Penfund, an independent provider of junior capital to middle market companies, announced today the completion of a $125 million subordinated secured credit facility for GoodLife Fitness Centres Inc., Canada’s largest operator of fitness clubs. The proceeds of the facility will be used by GoodLife to finance future growth and to refinance existing debt on more favourable terms.

Penfund acted as agent and lead investor in this transaction and provided $50 million of the $125 million facility. The remaining funds were provided by Macquarie Bank, Manulife Capital, GRI Investments Inc., The Canadian Medical Protective Association and the Teachers’ Retirement Allowances Fund Board.

According to John Bradlow, a partner of Penfund, “Penfund is delighted to continue its highly valued relationship with GoodLife and its founder, owner and CEO, David Patchell-Evans. In Penfund’s view, GoodLife is a remarkable demonstration of Canadian entrepreneurial success. GoodLife’s strong position in the Canadian fitness sector, its position as the fifth largest fitness club chain in the world, the highly accomplished management team and its distinctive culture combine to make it an ideal investment for Penfund.”

Mr. Bradlow continued, “We believe this financing is novel in the Canadian market. While comparable to a high yield bond financing, it is significantly more borrower-friendly as it requires no public disclosure of confidential information by this private company, is not rated and allows GoodLife to deal with a selected group of relationship-oriented lenders who will hold their loans until maturity.”

David Patchell-Evans said, “We are delighted to be continuing our long-term partnership with Penfund. This innovative financing is the latest in a series of financings provided and arranged by Penfund that have played an integral role in GoodLife’s development. This capital will help us to accelerate our growth and to improve the quality of the services we offer to our members. It will support our fundamental mission which is to provide opportunities for Canadians to improve their quality of life through access to fitness and wellness services.”

About GoodLife Fitness Centres Inc.
GoodLife was founded in 1979 by David Patchell-Evans. The company now operates 192 clubs under the GoodLife banner in Canada outside Quebec and an additional 70 clubs under the Energie Cardio banner in Quebec. Starting from a single, 2,000 square foot club in London, GoodLife has grown into the largest group of fitness clubs in Canada. GoodLife currently employs 9,500 associates and has more than 680,000 members. The Company has received many awards including being named a Platinum Club Member, Canada’s 50 Best Managed Companies and one of Canada’s 10 Most Admired Corporate Cultures. David Patchell-Evans personally was named the Canadian Venture Capital Association Entrepreneur of the year in 2010. GoodLife has been a generous supporter of charities across Canada and the founder with Dr. Derrick MacFabe, and lead supporter of The Kilee Patchell-Evans Autism Research Group at the University of Western Ontario. David Patchell-Evans founded the GoodLife Kids Foundation in 1998 to give children and youth the opportunity to lead active and healthy lives.
Web site:

About Penfund
Penfund is an independent investment firm specializing in providing junior capital to middle market companies. Penfund provides high yield and mezzanine debt, control and minority equity, as well as bridge facilities, standby lines, underwritten facilities and financial guarantees. The firm is owned by its management team and is currently investing its most recently established fund, Penfund Capital Fund III. Penfund manages institutional funds sourced from Canadian pension funds, insurance companies, family offices and banks and has invested more than $2.3 billion in over 220 companies since its establishment in 1979.