ABC Fitness continues global expansion with deal to acquire Irish competitor Glofox
August 8-14, 2022
By Wesley Brown
Sherwood-based ABC Fitness Solutions (ABC), which provides software and other technology-related services for the health and fitness industry, announced plans on Aug. 2 to acquire Glofox Limited in Dublin, Ireland.
ABC officials said the strategic combination significantly expands the Arkansas tech firm’s global reach and amplifies its ability to serve fitness organizations of all sizes with one of the fastest-growing fitness management platforms that share its values, commitment to its teams and customers, and proven record in developing innovative solutions that allow fitness operators to thrive. The transaction is expected to close later this year.
“We are so excited to welcome Glofox into ABC Fitness Solutions. Its range of solutions, focus on the boutique gym and studio sector, and impressive international reach are compelling and will help cement ABC’s position as a truly global solution provider within the fitness industry,” said ABC Fitness CEO Bill Davis. “When combined with our existing strength in North and Latin America, as well as our market-leading software solutions for the personal trainer and commercial fitness club sectors, we now have a combined offering greater than the sum of its parts and unrivaled by any company in the industry.”
Glofox was founded by former professional rugby player Conor O’Loughlin, and his colleagues Finn Hegarty and Anthony Kelly, and all three will continue to be leaders in the combined business. Glofox is recognized as an industry innovator in management software, helping boutique fitness brands build and grow successful businesses. Its all-in-one platform allows users to manage all aspects of their business with a streamlined, easy-to-use experience for members and staff alike.
Today, Glofox has more than 200 employees serving customers in over 80 countries in 17 languages around the world. Like ABC, it provides solutions covering all aspects of running a fitness business, from customer acquisition to billing management, from business intelligence to member engagement.
Together, ABC officials said the technical capabilities, reach and values of the two fitness technology firms amplify each other, allowing both to further their global mission to assist people in their health, fitness and wellness journeys. The combined companies will support over 31 million members across more than 24,000 fitness locations with technical solutions that put the member at the center of the experience.
The agreement follows the successful strategic acquisitions and integration of Trainerize, GymSales, and FitnessBI that helped enhance ABC’s best-in-class club management software solutions, leading to ABC IGNITE, its next generation and most advanced offering to date. From personal trainers to yoga studios, boutique gyms to commercial fitness clubs, the addition of Glofox means ABC can now serve any fitness provider of any size worldwide.
“We are thrilled to become part of ABC, a company that has been a pioneer of the fitness industry for over 40 years,” said O’Loughlin. “To be able to align with a partner that shares the same purpose and values and that can provide additional resources to drive innovation and accelerated international growth is a tremendous advantage to our team and our customers. As part of ABC Fitness Solutions, Glofox has an extremely exciting future, and we look forward to taking the combined business to the next level.”
The service of current customers will remain the ongoing top priority of ABC and Glofox and each will continue to focus on the respective fitness sectors they serve.
Founded in 1981, ABC provides financial services to more than 7,000 health clubs across the U.S., Canada, Mexico and Puerto Rico, serving clients like Planet Fitness and Gold’s Gym. The Arkansas firm was acquired in late 2017 by Silicon Valley-based Thoma Bravo, a private equity software portfolio investment firm that had over $114 billion in assets under management at the end of the first quarter.
Longtime ABC Financial’s chairman and founder Jim Bottin, an Arkansas Business Hall of Fame inductee, stepped down as CEO in 2015 and was replaced by industry veteran Paul Schaller. In July 2019, Davis replaced Schaller as CEO of the local financial services firm.
Among San Francisco-based Thoma Bravo’s most well-known technology brands is Compuware, the largest software company in the world solely devoted to IBM IT frameworks. Since 2003, the West Coast private equity firm has acquired or invested in more than 380 software and technology companies representing over $190 billion of value.
In an interview with The Daily Record, Davis noted that ABC employs 238 people in Arkansas and 1,000 globally and is now set to create one of the world’s largest fitness technology companies. In October 2020, the former ABC Financial Service rebranded under its current ABC Fitness corporate name after the industry saw a downturn due to COVID-19 social distancing and stay-at-home mandates nationwide.
Earlier in August 2020, ABC unveiled its OpenPath cloud-based technology that allowed fitness club members and staff to enter a facility without making physical contact or even touching a door. In addition to the integration’s mobile-first capabilities, hands-free access is available via smartwatches and encrypted RFID cards and key fobs. Employees can also use the system to approve or deny club access in-club or remotely from a convenient online portal, said Davis.
ABC Fitness Chief Executive Bill Davis