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North Castle buys Canadian fitness club operator

Following its successful investment in Equinox health clubs, the Connecticut-based private equity firm North Castle continues the march into the world of health and fitness in acquiring World Health Club.

North Castle Partners, a Connecticut-based private equity firm, has added 14 fitness centers in Alberta, Canada to its portfolio after acquiring operator World Health Club. Financial terms were not disclosed.

The deal was part of North Castle’s core strategy of investing in the health and beauty sector, and follows the firm’s 2006 exit from the New York fitness club Equinox, which it expanded to Chicago, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Florida. North Castle sold Equinox to The Related Group for $505 million (€322 million).

Doug Lehrman, North Castle managing director, said in a statement the firm was excited to “re-enter the world of fitness club operators” adding: “As World Health Club grows, we intend to apply the knowledge we have acquired from our successful investments in Equinox.”

World Health Club operates 14 fitness clubs in Alberta's two largest cities, Calgary and Edmonton, and has an estimated 40,000 members.

Health and fitness has been seen as a successful growing sector by some private equity real estate professionals, including Colorado-based KSL Capital Partners who last week acquired the luxury health club operator Western Athletic Clubs. The deal involved nine facilities in California in the San Francisco and San Diego metro areas for an undisclosed sum.