High-Impact Entrepreneurship

Bodytech enters into strategic alliance with Sportlife, becomes the largest chain of gyms in Latin America

Bodytech, a chain of medical, health, and fitness gyms lead by Colombian Endeavor Entrepreneurs Nicolás Loaiza and Gigliola Aycardi, has announced a new strategic alliance with Sportlife, a line of Chilean gyms. With this partnership, the gyms will constitute the largest chain of gyms in Latin America.

Today Bodytech has 40 gyms in Colombia and 5 in Peru, while its Chilean counterpart, started in 1993 by Julio Berazategui and Mauricio Musiet, currently operates 37 gyms within Chile. With the signing of a MOU between the two companies, Bodytech and Sportlife will share over 150,000 members, 2,500 employees, and USD$125 million in sales annually. “This would allow our chain to establish itself as the regional leader in terms of size, profitability, number of members, and coverage, and as well as continue to fulfill the dream of a better quality of life for the communities of these three countries,” describes Bodytech President Nicolás Loiaza.

According to the leadership of both companies, this partnership will strengthen job stability for their employees, offer new opportunities for the development and growth of professionals in the industries of health and fitness, increase the value of both companies, and contribute to the economic development of all three countries. Gym members at both chains will benefit, as they will be allowed to attend any gym within the alliance without any additional cost. This partnership comes especially well-timed, as it follows the establishment of the Integrated Latin American Market (known by its Spanish acronym Mila), which merged the stock markets of Colombia, Peru, and Chile last May.

Even though they are still working out the exact details of their alliance, both companies are adamant that Bodytech and Sportlife will continue to operate independently under their current names in order to take advantage of the strong brand recognition that each has cultivated locally. Future plans include bringing the Sportlife brand to Colombia and the Bodytech line to Chile, and eventually, to enter the Brazilian and Mexican markets as part of an aggressive international expansion plan.

During the next five years, the companies plan to invest USD$250 million in order to double the number of gyms in their lines by 2015. Bodytech itself intends to invest USD$70 million solely in the next year to open 10 more sites in Colombia, 5 in Peru, and 5 in Chile, to end 2012 with 62 total gyms.

According to Loaiza, the way to obtain the necessary financial resources for this aggressive international expansion is an IPO in the Colombia stock market sometime in 2012 or 2013. “We have wanted to enter the stock market for the last four years, but now is the right time given the Integrated Latin American Market.”

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