MAXWELL MURPHY | THE WALL STREET JOURNAL
July 26, 2013 – It’s like sports: If you want to win, you don’t recruit a team of rookies.
Earlier this week, Planet Fitness named former Radio Shack Corp. finance chief, Dorvin Lively, as its CFO. That completes the team assembled this year with Treasurer Bonnie Monahan, former CFO of a small Mexican restaurant chain, as well as Controller Anna Arico, who was a finance consultant with Robert Half International.
“This is the capstone appointment that really culminates six to seven months of hard work,” said Richard Moore, general counsel of Planet Fitness, based in New Hampshire.
The nationwide franchise fitness chain is controlled by private-equity firm TSG Consumer Partners, which took a majority stake late last year.
Planet Fitness has nearly tripled in size to roughly 670 locations since 2008, and has the potential to grow to well over 1,000 gyms over the next several years.
TSG’s average investment horizon is about five years. The firm typically exits investments by finding a buyer or through an initial public offering.
“Developing a top-tier finance and accounting team” was important under either of those scenarios, said Pierre LeComte, managing director of TSG.
His firm sought out Mr. Lively for his experience with private-equity-backed businesses and building executive teams. Before Radio Shack, Mr. Lively was CFO of Ace Hardware Corp. and he has held finance positions at Pepsi-Cola International and Toys ‘R’ Us.
Planet Fitness wasn’t concerned about any reputational risk of Mr. Lively’s tenure at Radio Shack, despite the company’s chronic financial troubles which forced the retailer to hire an investment banker and a restructuring firm to consider its fate.
Michael Pachter, a stock analyst who follows Radio Shack for Wedbush Securities, said Mr. Lively isn’t to blame for Radio Shack’s woes, which trace back to before he joined Radio Shack about two years ago. “[Mr. Lively] was just on the Titanic after it hit the iceberg, and Planet Fitness offered a passing lifeboat.”
ABOUT TSG CONSUMER PARTNERS LLC
TSG Consumer Partners, LLC is a leading investment firm with
approximately $5 billion of assets under management, focused
exclusively on the branded consumer sector. Since its founding
in 1987, TSG has been an active investor in the food, beverage,
restaurant, beauty, personal care, household and apparel & accessories,
and e-commerce sectors. Representative past and present partner
companies include Duckhorn Wine Company, vitaminwater, thinkThin,
popchips, Muscle Milk, Yard House, Stumptown, Pabst, Planet Fitness,
REVOLVE, PAIGE, Smashbox Cosmetics, Pureology, Sexy Hair, e.l.f. Cosmetics
and IT Cosmetics.
Meghan Gavigan / Dan Goldstein
Sard Verbinnen & Co
Meghan Gavigan - 212.687.8080
Dan Goldstein - 310.201.2040