Fast-growing sports and athleisure brand, Gymshark, is attracting interest from private equity firms looking to acquire a minority stake in the company. Gymshark’s founder, Ben Francis, established the company eight years ago at the age of 19 and is now seeking to sell a 20% stake. The brand’s exceptional success has made Francis one of the wealthiest individuals under 30 in the UK.

Leading private equity investors, including L Catterton, TSG Partners, Inflexion Private Equity, and General Atlantic, have expressed their interest in purchasing a minority shareholding in the company. Gymshark has enlisted PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) to handle the sale process.

While Gymshark is considering a valuation of approximately £1 billion, it remains uncertain whether potential investors will agree with this price target. Despite challenges faced by the UK fashion industry, Gymshark has experienced rapid growth and achieved significant success. The brand has effectively targeted millennials and capitalized on the athleisure trend, which resonates with this demographic.

In May, Gymshark ranked at the top of the list of Britain’s fastest-growing private companies. The company reported profits of nearly £19 million in the previous financial year, with an impressive average annual profit growth rate of 156% over the past three years. With a strong social media presence, Gymshark relies heavily on platforms like Facebook and Instagram, utilizing influencers such as Stefanie Moir and Matt Ogus.

Although founder Ben Francis is no longer involved in day-to-day operations, as former Reebok executive Steve Hewitt has taken over as CEO, he remains the driving force behind the brand. Francis currently holds a two-thirds share of the company. His vision for Gymshark is ambitious, aiming to challenge major players in the sports industry and compete with global giants like Nike.

Useful links:
1. Gymshark official website
2. PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) official website