Talwalkars to buy 50% stake in Chennai’s Zorba yoga studio chain

Talwalkars Better Value Fitness Ltd, one of India's largest gymnasium chains, said on Thursday it has agreed to acquire a 50 per cent stake in Chennai-based Zorba chain of yoga studios for an undisclosed amount.

This is its second such deal in the southern city and the fourth strategic deal in as many months. In November, TBVF had acquired a 51 per stake in Chennai-based Inshape Health and Fitnez Pvt Ltd for an undisclosed amount in cash. Earlier that month, it had picked up a 19 per cent stake in health and fitness centre discovery site GymTrekker Fitness Pvt Ltd for an undisclosed amount.

Prior to that, the company made its first overseas acquisition by buying a 49.5 per cent stake in Sri Lanka's Power World Gym.

Talwalkars said the investment into Zorba will strengthen its wellness and fitness offerings in the Chennai market and also enable the company to expand its yoga training activities across multiple locations in India.

Zorba, launched in 2013 by Sarvesh Shashi, offers six courses and eight alternative therapies in yoga, Zumba, posture correction and healing. The company runs three centres in Chennai that offer healing ailments for diseases such as asthma and diabetes.

Talwalkars has 160 centres in 80 cities in India and in Colombo, Sri Lanka. Of these, 105 centres are company-owned, while the rest are either franchisee-owned or acquired. The company operates five types of fitness centres - Talwalkars Hi-Fi, NuForm, Reduce, Zumba and Lloyd.

The company planned to add 100 fitness centres over the next three years to take the total above 250, CEO and managing director Prashant Talwalkar VCCircle in December.

Of the new centres, 20 will be company-owned and be set up in cities where the company has no presence so far. The remaining 80 centres will be set up in existing markets through franchisee partners. The company may invest as much as Rs 70 crore to roll out its own centres. It will be making the investment from the Rs 107 crore it raised by selling shares to institutions in June last year.

The company's shares rose 1.1 per cent to Rs 247 each at noon on the BSE in a weak Mumbai market on Thursday.

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