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Solidcore Explores Sale Amid Pilates Boom, Per Report

Solidcore Explores Sale Amid Pilates Boom, Per Report

A potential sale could value Solidcore at more than $750 million. The Pilates-inspired brand has over 100 locations and is in expansion mode

Solidcore, a Pilates-inspired boutique fitness brand with over 100 locations, is reportedly considering options, including a sale, a little more than a year after being sold off by its founder, Anne Mahlum.

The potential sale could value Solidcore, officially branded as [solidcore], at over $750 million, including debt.

Reuters first reported the news, citing anonymous sources that say the Pilates-inspired brand is working with investment banks North Point and Piper Sandler.

The sources added that Solidcore expects to generate approximately $50 million in earnings for 2024 before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization and around $150 million in revenue.  

Mahlum, a serial fitness and wellness investor, launched Solidcore in 2013 in Washington, D.C., growing into one of the bigger brands in fitness before exiting last year and selling all of her shares to investment firm Kohlberg & Company, reportedly taking home over $80 million. VMG Partners and Peterson Partners also own stakes in Solidcore.

A Fresh Take on a Surging Modality

Solidcore, which offers 50-minute high-intensity, low-impact workouts on a Pilates reformer under neon blue lights, has gained a social media following, with scores of mostly young women sharing videos of flushed post-workout faces, tips on how to “survive a class,” and impressive results from the workout that has earned the brand the nickname “Pilates on Steroids.” It’s a label Solidcore seems to embrace, as seen with an ad campaign, “Fail with Us,” and adding a special introduction class designed for newbies.

“At Solidcore, failure is the name of the game,” Bryan Myers, Solidcore’s president and CEO, told Athletech News earlier this year. “But it’s not the ‘failure’ you’re used to. During each and every class, we purposefully activate our slow-twitch-muscle fibers, shaking to the point of muscle failure and needing to take a break. We embrace this idea of failure as a sign of growth, success, and strength, and the core of what makes this workout unique.”

Pilates itself is experiencing a boom. The fitness modality’s popularity prompted a cheeky skit on NBC’s “Saturday Night Live” last month, poking fun at the intense nature of Pilates teachers, their loyal clients and their apparatuses that can be intimidating to newcomers. 

Plans To More Than Double in Size

Last year, following fresh strategic funding from Kohlberg & Company and support from existing investors including VMG and Peterson, Solidcore announced intentions to open 250 studios by 2028.

Even with a reputation for being challenging, Pilates has seemingly become the leading boutique fitness modality — with franchise brands such as Studio Pilates, JetSet Pilates and Club Pilates rapidly scaling — Club Pilates, for example, just opened its 1,000th location in Portland, Oregon. 

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Solidcore is one of the few sizable Pilates brands that hasn’t adopted a franchise model, which the company says allows it to be more strategic in the placement of its studios.

“Our studios are medium-sized, so not as small as some of your mom-and-pop Pilates where it’s only five or six machines, but it’s not as large as (some boutique fitness brands) that require 50 or 60 people per class,” Heidi Blesy, Solidcore’s vice president of studio development, told ATN last winter. “There’s a lot of white space for us.”

The brand also announced plans last year to move its corporate headquarters from Washington, D.C., to Rosslyn, Virginia, doubling its workspace and adding a mock studio for product innovation.

In other potential spring-time sale news, group fitness pioneer Barry’s is also reportedly mulling a sale as it eyes expansion of its own.

Soldicore didn’t immediately respond to ATN’s request for comment on the sale talks.

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