Snap Fitness Acquires Twin Cities Chain Steele Fitness

Snap Fitness Acquires Twin Cities Chain Steele Fitness

Fast-growing Snap Fitness has about 1,500 locations worldwide, and it said that the acquisition of Steele Fitness will help differentiate its offerings by adding “premium personal training.”

Snap Fitness, a Chanhassen-based fitness-center chain, said this week that it is acquiring Steele Fitness, another locally based chain of fitness clubs.

Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Founded in 2003, Snap Fitness now has nearly 1,500 locations worldwide. Its clubs are open around the clock and are meant to provide a smaller, more convenient alternative to larger fitness centers.

Golden Valley-based Steele, meanwhile, launched in 2002 and has grown to include five Twin Cities–area training clubs, athletic apparel, equipment sales, and a corporate fitness business. For a May Twin Cities Business story, the company, which offers individual and group training programs, said that it had thousands of clients at its Twin Cities clubs and thousands more corporate customers at Target’s Minneapolis headquarters. Founder and CEO Steele Smiley said at the time that the company’s revenue has doubled every year since 2008.

Earlier this year, Steele partnered with athletic wear maker Under Armour, Inc., to open an athletic retail store in Edina featuring men’s and women’s apparel.

Snap Fitness said in a statement that it will begin rolling out Steele’s personal training model this month in the Twin Cities “with plans to build in the tier-one markets nationally and internationally in 2014.”

In a Facebook post, Steele said that its brand “will now go global” as the result of being acquired by Snap Fitness. “Ladies and gentleman, thank you for your past and future support of the Steele brand, and welcome to the largest personal training organization in the world,” the company wrote.

Snap Fitness founder and CEO Peter Taunton said in a statement that the deal will help further differentiate the Snap brand by implementing Steele’s “premium personal training.”

“With this acquisition we are on our way to building the largest personal training network in the world,” he added.

The Steele acquisition complements Snap’s fast-paced growth. Last year, Snap acquired Kosama Complete Body Transformation, a Des Moines, Iowa-based franchise focused on instructor-led fitness classes. The company has also expanded its footprint in the United Kingdom.

Steele has about 80 employees, and founder Smiley will join Snap Fitness and oversee the integration of his company’s training processes into Snap’s operations, according to a Star Tribune report. Snap Fitness had revenue of $70 million last year and has been adding new franchises at a rate of 15 to 20 clubs a month, the Minneapolis newspaper reported.

Minnesota is home to a number of successful fitness center companies. In addition to Snap and Steele, Hastings-based Anytime Fitness, LLC, has grown at breakneck speed; in fact, it was recently named the world’s fastest-growing fitness club. (For an in-depth, 2012 feature story about Anytime, click here.) Meanwhile, Chanhassen-based Life Time Fitness is also adding new clubs.