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The Little Gym Signs Franchise Deal, Acquires 7 New Locations

The Little Gym Signs Franchise Deal, Acquires 7 New Locations

As part of its growth strategy, The Little Gym has partnered with investors to acquire gyms in North Carolina, South Carolina and Tennessee

The Little Gym International has closed a franchise deal with a private equity-backed group to purchase seven existing gyms in North Carolina, South Carolina and Tennessee to expand its footprint and develop additional gyms over the next few years.

Part of Unleashed Brands, a youth-focused company that includes Urban Air Adventure Park, Snapology, Class 101, Premier Martial Arts and XP league, The Little Gym offers enrichment and physical development centers for children ages four months through age 12.

Hidden River Strategic Capital and Taurus Capital Partners are leading the investment. Griffin Gordon, founder and CEO of Taurus Capital Partners, will be active in the business, focusing on strategic development and expansion.

“My passion for this opportunity is fueled by my personal experience as a customer, as I have directly seen how impactful The Little Gym is for families,” Gordon said. “Parents continue to invest in great programming for their kids, which creates immense opportunities in child enrichment generally and specifically for this enduring, blue-chip brand.”

credit: The Little Gym/Unleashed Brands

Gordon added that collaborating with Unleashed Brands and its strategic investment in marketing, curriculum and technology is appealing to him as a franchisee and investor.

The first Little Gym location was introduced in 1976 by an innovative educator, Robin Wes. In 1992, The Little Gym International was formed to franchise the concept, since growing to nearly 400 locations in over 31 countries.

The Little Gym does more than keep kids active; it teaches age-appropriate social and physical skills to promote self-confidence and set them up for long-term success.  

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Josh Wall, chief growth officer of Unleashed Brands, says that the deal marks the company’s first institutional capital provider. 

“We’re excited to partner with Hidden River and Taurus to further expand The Little Gym footprint,” Wall said. “It’s exciting to see the investment world taking notice of the great economic and community impact an investment into The Little Gym franchise system provides.”

The seven gym locations included in the acquisition are Cary, Greensboro, North Raleigh, Fayetteville and Wilmington in North Carolina; Mt. Pleasant, South Carolina; and Farragut, Tennessee. The gyms have been owned and operated by the Moore Family and Connie Tator, long-time franchisees. The company confirms Richard Moore will continue to serve in a critical operational leadership capacity.

“The Moore Family (Martha, Gerald, Richard and Karalyn Ley) and Connie have been instrumental leaders within our brand for years and we’re grateful for the teams they’ve built and the families they have each impacted inside their gyms,” said Nancy Bigley, CEO and brand president of The Little Gym International. “We wish them well in their future endeavors and thank them for the impact they made on The Little Gym.”

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