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Massage Envy Association Seeks New Brand Investor


SCOTTSDALE – Franchisees of the Independent Association of Massage Envy Regional Developers, Inc announced yesterday that they are looking for a new franchisor owner, one with whom they can form a long-term strategic alliance and collaborative relationship.

Sentinel Capital Partners, owner of franchisor Message Envy since December 2009, recently announced to its franchise community that it is actively seeking a buyer for its system. Leaders of the association feel the area developers have played an integral part in the system’s rapid growth and success. With a new owner taking control, they want to ensure that their central and vital role will continue.

Jim Fitzsimmons, president of the developer association, states: “We have always been the engine of the growth and continuity of this company. Our franchisor repeatedly tells us that they are committed to perpetuation of the regional developer model, in large part because it has served them so well. We are also deeply committed to this system and to this brand.” The leader states that every regional developer has created substantial value, not only for the company and each franchisee in their region, but in their own businesses as well. “They are committed to preserve, to protect and to eventually harvest that equity for the benefit of themselves and their families,” he declared.

The function of the regional developer association, which started in 2007, has been to recruit franchise candidates, find and help build out great locations, and to provide advice, consultation, training and oversight of the brand’s franchised clinics. The organization currently has 53 regional developers as members.

Massage Envy, LLC, founded in 2002, operates nearly 800 clinics with close to 1.3 million members in 45 states. As part of the health and fitness sector, the brand has consistently outperformed its competitors across a wide array of metrics, even in the current economic climate. The company states that its escalating performance can be measured by average revenue per clinic, system growth in establishment of new clinics, and high continuity rates.  Massage Envy states that it is number one in its segment.

Source: Independent Association of Massage Envy Regional Developers, Inc

In addition, average clinic revenues rose from $815,437 in 2009 to $1,245,739 in 2011, a compound annual growth rate of nearly 24%. The association proudly touts that these high growth rates are the result of its members, who are on the front line in terms of franchisee recruitment and retention.

As the search for a new leader of Massage Envy progresses, the regional developer association hopes for a seat at the table “as a true stakeholder in the sale of the company that they have built from the ground up.” Fitzsimmons said their substantial investment in the system is worthy of recognition and consideration in this transition. “The regional developer members of the association seek a mutually respectful, balanced and long-term relationship with the next franchisor, with each party to the relationship achieving a fair return on their investment of time and capital in the company,” states the independent association head. “They also seek a dialogue and alliance with potential buyers with whom they can partner in the further growth and development of the company and the brand.”

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About Janet Sparks

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Janet Sparks is the former publisher of the Continental Franchise Review, an industry newsletter that covered the franchise community for over 30 years. She has also been a columnist for a leading franchise magazine for the past 13 years. Today she is an independent journalist who engages in investigative reporting, tackling complex issues that impact the franchise industry.

Janet can be reached at or at 303-799-7398.