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Mark Wahlberg-Backed F45 Training Files for IPO

Gillian Tan and Crystal Tse

(Bloomberg) -- F45 Training, a provider of group workout classes that started in Australia, has filed confidentially for a U.S. initial public offering, according to people with knowledge of the matter.

The company’s IPO could come as soon as the first half of this year, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the information is private. Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and JPMorgan Chase & Co. are working with the company on a listing, they said.

F45 hasn’t made a final decision on a listing and its plans could change, some of the people said.

The company’s classes are based on high-five heavy functional high intensity interval and circuit training, a trendy approach that’s attracted celebrities and athletes. The company, founded in Sydney and now based in Los Angeles, has signed as many as 100 new franchisees in a month. Its name is a mash-up of “functional training” and the 45-minute duration of its classes.

Actor Mark Wahlberg bought a minority stake last year in a deal valuing the company at about $450 million. Wahlberg regularly posts from F45 on social media and has introduced it to celebrities including Mario Lopez, as well as basketball stars Dwyane Wade and Jimmy Butler, former National Football League player Calvin Johnson and the National Hockey League’s Max Domi.

An F45 listing would follow September’s $1.16 billion offering by Peloton Interactive Inc., the internet-connected cycling class company whose shares have now recovered from a post-IPO slump. Xponential Fitness LLC, which franchises boutique brands including Club Pilates, Pure Barre and Row House, is also planning a U.S. IPO, people familiar with the matter said.

Always Exploring

F45 co-founder Adam Gilchrist declined to comment on any IPO plans. He said that the company is continuously exploring ways to help franchisees accelerate same-store sales growth.

Representatives for Goldman and JPMorgan declined to comment.

F45 classes draw on 4,000 different exercises so that workouts remain fresh. The company defines pulling, pushing, squatting, lifting, jumping, kicking, rowing and biking, among other motions, as functional training.

Classes are offered in at least 40 countries, including in the U.S. at colleges such as Stanford University and the University of Southern California. The company has held talks to offer workouts to members of the U.S. military, according to a person with knowledge of the matter.

The sessions also feature wireless heart rate monitors, which the company calls LionHeart, that are linked to in-studio television displays.

(Adds types of exercises in ninth paragraph. A prior version of the story corrected the spelling of Wade’s first name.)

To contact the reporters on this story: Gillian Tan in New York at gtan129@bloomberg.net;Crystal Tse in New York at ctse44@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Liana Baker at lbaker75@bloomberg.net, ;Alan Goldstein at agoldstein5@bloomberg.net, Michael Hytha, Josh Friedman

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