DIC acquires stake in SE Asian Fitness group

Dubai Holding has purchased a “significant stake” in True Group, which owns and runs fitness centers across Asia.

Dubai International Capital, the $13 billion investment arm of Dubai Holding, has acquired a significant stake in Singapore-based fitness center company True Group.

The size of the investment was not disclosed but the firm called it ”significant.”

True Group runs a chain of fitness, yoga and spa facilities across Southeast Asia. The chain operates 17 outlets with 500,000 square feet of space and 70,000 members in Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand and Taiwan. The firm said the investment will support the group's international expansion drive into new markets.

The True Group was established in 2004 at Pacific Plaza in Singapore's downtown shopping area. At the time it was Singapore's largest wellness center. Since then the group has expanded across South East Asia and has become one of the largest fitness, yoga and wellness groups in the region. The company has said it is looking to expand into the Indian subcontinent and the Middle East.

Anand Krishnan, CEO of DIC Emerging Markets, said in a statement, “The wellness market in Asia is particularly attractive because there is a rapidly expanding segment of consumers whose higher disposable income has created a demand for such services. The level of wellness club membership in Asia is still however only one fifth of what it is in the US and Europe so we see attractive growth potential in our investment.”

This is Dubai International capital’s first private equity deal in Asia, made by its $2 billion Global Strategic Equities Fund. Previous investments include the purchase of shares in HSBC Holdings, ICICI and Och-Ziff.

DIC is owned by Dubai ruler Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al-Maktoum.