MOSCOW--(BUSINESS WIRE)--A consortium of investors including the Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF), Russia’s sovereign wealth fund, Abu Dhabi’s Mubadala Investment Company, and other leading Middle Eastern investment funds have announced investments in Russian Fitness Group (RFG), which manages the largest chain of fitness clubs in Russia under the ‘World Class’ brand.
The consortium has acquired a 22.5% stake in RFG from VTB Capital and will invest to further develop the company. Together with Russian and foreign shareholders of RFG, the consortium will support its growth in Russia, the CIS and Europe.
RDIF, Mubadala and co-investors intend to increase investments in RFG to strengthen its position in various markets and to stimulate the development of sport, increase the availability of fitness and organized physical education as well as the popularization of sports and finally, to promote healthy lifestyles in Russia.
Kirill Dmitriev, CEO of the Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF), noted:
“The World Class chain 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 chain 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, said:
“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.”
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”.
Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF) is Russia's sovereign wealth fund established in 2011 to make equity co-investments, primarily in Russia, alongside reputable international financial and strategic investors. RDIF acts as a catalyst for direct investment in the Russian economy. RDIF’s management company is based in Moscow. Currently, RDIF has experience of the successful joint implementation of more than 60 projects with foreign partners totaling more than 1.4 trillion rubles and covering 95% of the regions of the Russian Federation. RDIF portfolio companies employ more than 700,000 people, and generate revenues which equate to more than 5% of Russia’s GDP. RDIF established joint strategic partnerships with leading international co-investors from more than 15 countries that total more than 40 billion dollars. Further information can be found at www.rdif.ru
Mubadala Investment Company (Mubadala) is a pioneering global investor, deploying capital with integrity and ingenuity to accelerate economic growth for the long-term benefit of Abu Dhabi. As Abu Dhabi’s leading strategic investment company, Mubadala is active in 13 sectors and more than 30 countries around the world, creating lasting value for its shareholder, the Government of Abu Dhabi.
Mubadala’s work includes the development of global industrial champions in sectors such as aerospace, ICT, semiconductors, metals & mining and renewable energy, utilities, and the management of diverse financial holdings. The company builds on legacy expertise in oil and gas to invest across the hydrocarbon spectrum and enhance the United Arab Emirates’ growth potential through investments in healthcare, real estate and defence services. Mubadala’s investment approach prioritizes partnership with best-in-class organizations and a commitment to the highest standards of governance.
Russian Fitness Group operates World Class and World Class Lite fitness clubs chains. World Class brand was launched onto the Russian market in 1990. In 1993 the first fitness club of world-class standards was opened in Moscow under the brand name of World Class. It was the cornerstone of the fitness industry in Russia and CIS countries. Today World Class is the largest fitness corporation in Russia operating 39 own and 46 franchised clubs in 34 cities of 6 countries. Further information can be found at www.worldclass.ru
VTB Capital, the Investment Business of VTB Group, is one of the three strategic business arms of VTB Group along with the corporate and retail businesses. Since its foundation in 2008, VTB Capital has participated in over 820 ECM and DCM deals, which attracted more than $285bn worth of investments in Russia and CIS.
VTB Capital offers a full range of investment banking products and services to Russian and international clients, including execution of ECM and DCM deals, advisory on M&A-transactions, infrastructure project financing, fixed income and equities trading, Research and investment management.
VTB Capital has repeatedly been recognized as the best investment bank in Russia and global markets by influential international magazines, including Euromoney, EMEA Finance, Global Finance. Since 2009, the investment bank has been holding leading positions in Dealogic, Bloomberg, Thomson Reuters and Mergermarket rankings. In 2018, VTB Capital’s Research team was named the best in Russia by Institutional Investor and Extel Survey.