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Equinox Discusses Going Public Via Social Capital SPAC

Gillian Tan and Crystal Tse
·2-min read

(Bloomberg) -- Equinox Holdings, the luxury gym operator popular among financiers and celebrities, has held talks to go public by merging with a blank-check company backed by investor Chamath Palihapitiya, according to people with knowledge of the matter.

Negotiations between Social Capital Hedosophia Holdings Corp. VI and Equinox, which also operates SoulCycle and Blink Fitness, aren’t finalized and it’s possible that discussions may not result in a deal, said one of the people, asking not to be identified because the information is private. A transaction could value the combined entity at more than $7.5 billion, one of the people said. That would include a meaningful injection from a so-called private investment in public equity, or PIPE, deal.

A representative for Equinox declined to comment on the talks and didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment regarding the specific Social Capital vehicle. A representative for Social Capital Hedosophia declined to comment.

Equinox, which was forced to shutter many locations last year due to the pandemic, reported a loss of around $350 million on about $650 million in revenue last year and had drawn interest from SPACs valuing it at $7 billion or more, Bloomberg News reported last month. Founded in 1991, it expanded into hospitality, opening its first hotel in 2019 in Manhattan’s Hudson Yards neighborhood.

Led by executive Chairman Harvey Spevak, Equinox struck a funding deal with private equity firm Silver Lake last year to build out its Equinox+ digital platform. L Catterton, the consumer-focused private equity firm, also owns a minority stake.

Palihapitiya, in partnership with Ian Osborne of Hedosophia, has raised six special purpose acquisition companies, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Social Capital Hedosophia SPACs have merged with companies to form Virgin Galactic Holdings Inc., Opendoor Technologies Inc. and Clover Health Investments Corp.. Another Palihapitiya-Osborne vehicle has agreed to merge with Social Finance Inc., or SoFi.

Social Capital Hedosophia Holdings Corp. VI raised $1.15 billion in an October initial public offering. Its shares closed on Tuesday at $10.43.

(Updates potential valuation in second paragraph.)

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