Friday, April 12, 2024 UTC

Recognized by industry leaders for extensive coverage on African Asset Management

News > Private Equity > Exits

CardinalStone Capital Advisers Exits i-Fitness Nigeria to Verod Capital

Staff writer
Feb. 23, 2024, 12:15 p.m.
235

Word count: 474

CardinalStone Capital Advisers Growth Fund (CCAGF), managed by a a West Africa focused private equity firm CardinalStone Capital Advisers (CCA), has successfully sold its stake in i-Fitness Nigeria to Verod Capital Management.

Choose ONE Magazine and TWO Articles for FREE when you register an account
Share:

CardinalStone Capital Advisers Growth Fund (CCAGF), managed by a a West Africa focused private equity firm CardinalStone Capital Advisers (CCA), has successfully sold its stake in i-Fitness Nigeria to Verod Capital Management.

Established in 2015 with the vision of making high quality fitness fun and affordable, i-Fitness is a health and wellness brand that operates a chain of low-cost, big-box gyms across Nigeria.

CCA partnered with Foluso Ogunwale, the founder of i-Fitness, in 2019, at which point the business was serving under 3,000 subscribers, with approximately 50 employees across 5 locations; all along the Lekki axis of Lagos, Nigeria. 

Today, the business serves over 26,000 active subscribers, and has over 500 employees across 21 locations in 4 cities in Nigeria — making i-Fitness West Africa’s leading and fastest-growing fitness chain.

As the first institutional investor in i-Fitness, beyond its capital commitment, CCA played a significant role in advancing ESG standards, upgrading the systems, governance structures and institutional framework that prepared the business for the over 10x growth experienced over the past four years, culminating in CCA’s exit to a seasoned financial investor. 

Such initiatives, validate CCA’s strategy of hands-on approach to investing in and growing businesses.

Yomi Jemibewon, Partner at CCA, said: “This has been an extremely exciting and rewarding journey for us at CCA. From believing in and supporting Foluso’s vision when others wouldn't; to weathering the storm of a 6-month Covid-19 shut-down only 3 months after investing; and then exceeding our growth and impact objectives 12 months ahead of schedule.” 

“We are pleased to be exiting to a trusted financial investor that is committed to carrying on the journey we started with Foluso. This story exemplifies the role we set out to play with the CCA Growth Fund, in developing SMEs in our markets into industry leaders with transformational impact at scale.”

i-Fitness was CCAGF’s first investment and represents its first full exit – a milestone that proves CCA’s ability to successfully source, scale and exit businesses in what has proven to be a tough market for private equity. CCA is excited to see i-Fitness's continued success in the West African wellness space.

Foluso Ogunwale, CEO of i-Fitness, said: “With CCA, we did not only build a business that is now leading the fitness industry in West Africa, we built a friendship, stayed laser- focused on achieving set objectives and worked together through good and hard times. Ten weeks into our partnership, we shut down operations for 6-months due to COVID-19. We lost a significant amount of money but still kept our growth mindset intact. Promoting fitness and having the opportunity to touch many thousands of lives gives us a true sense of fulfilment.”

Rand Merchant Bank Nigeria and CardinalStone Partners acted as joint financial advisors, and Udo Udoma & Belo-Osagie (UUBO) acted as legal counsel to the seller on the transaction.

Registration Login
Sign in with social account
or
Lost your Password?
Registration Login
Sign in with social account
or
Registration Login
Registration