VTB Group closes transaction to sell its stake in World Class
VTB Capital completely sells its 22.5% stake in the Russian Fitness Group (RFG), which manages the World Class fitness clubs, to a consortium of investors comprising Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF), Mubadala sovereign wealth fund and other leading Middle Eastern investment funds.
VTB Capital became a stakeholder of RFG in 2014. VTB Capital’s standard investment horizon into such projects is approximately
Yuri Soloviev, First Deputy President and Chairman of VTB Bank Management Board, said: “While VTB Capital was an investor of the Russian Fitness Group, the company demonstrated outstanding results: substantially increased profits, decreased debt burden, significantly expanded its fitness club network not only in Moscow, but also in the regions. Our investment into RFG marks one more successful private equity investment for VTB Capital, and we believe that the company’s current market position will allow it to maintain the scale of business and continue active development in its niche. I would like to highlight the fact that VTB Capital’s partner in the transaction is a consortium of RDIF, Russia’s sovereign fund, and Mubadala, one of the largest Middle Eastern sovereign funds, which underscores the fundamental appeal of investment into Russia and interest toward it from major international investors”.
Kirill Dmitriev, CEO of the Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF), noted: “The World Class network is dynamically developing, and we together with our partners intend to actively contribute to the further realization of the company’s leadership potential. We are pleased to join a strong team of shareholders, including network founder Olga Sloutsker, who continues to play a significant role in business development— an important factor for us as financial investors. Together we will create the conditions needed to improve the quality of life. Through both this project and the mixed martial arts (MMA) company UFC Russia, which was established in partnership with Mubadala, RDIF is promoting the development and popularization of sports in Russia.”
Olga Sloutsker, Chairman of the Board, President and Shareholder of Russian Fitness Group: “Over our 25 years in the market we haven’t just built the company from scratch, we have managed to ignite love for healthy lifestyle in Russia. And that is our main mission. From the very moment it was launched, World Class fitness clubs chain has been the undisputed leader of the Russian market, and today it is becoming a significant international player that operates in 6 countries and attracts the attention of the largest world investors and companies. To prove that we have our longstanding partnership with Goldman Sachs and now the entry of the new world known investor — the largest Middle East investment institution Mubadala Group, in partnership with the Russian Direct Investment Fund. We are proud that in these difficult times for the world economy our company continues to grow, develop and arouse interest of the world’s top investors. For us it does not only mean that we have been employing the right business strategy, it is also the best motivation not to lose momentum and work better and harder — to meet and overcome our customers’ and partners’ expectations. We also express our gratitude to VTB Capital for the successful partnership and significant contribution to the development of our business.”