Sport, parks and leisure - Aussie boxing franchise UBX targets UK for 250 clubs in £50m deal with Empowered Brands...
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20 Dec 2021

Aussie boxing franchise UBX targets UK for 250 clubs in £50m deal with Empowered Brands
BY Liz Terry

UBX Training is bringing its boxing franchise to the UK, with plans for 200 locations

UBX Training is bringing its boxing franchise to the UK, with plans for 200 locations
photo: UBX Boxing

Boutique boxing brand UBX is coming to the UK and Ireland following the signing of a master franchise deal with Empowered Brands.

Franchise investment business Empowered Brands acquired énergie Fitness out of a CVA in 2020, backed by alternative asset management company, RM Funds.

Australia-based UBX was co-founded by fitness and tech entrepreneur, Tim West, and four-time world champion boxer, Danny Green.

The first club opened in Brisbane in 2016 and the company has since grown rapidly – there are now 90 UBX clubs across Australia and New Zealand and much of that growth has been through franchising.

West said: “Our ability to not only survive, but also to grow, during lockdowns, proves the resilience of the UBX model.

"We've invested heavily in our team and technology and are primed for international growth. The UK is the logical and exciting next step, as it has a long and proud boxing history and we see a huge opportunity to modernise boxing using our proven and innovative model.

"Empowered Brands is the perfect strategic partner because as it has more than 100 fitness clubs already open in the UK and Ireland – and a strategy to build a powerful brand stable across Europe," he said.

"In Empowered Brands, we know we have a partner who matches our ambition to grow fast in a marketplace that demands innovation, flexibility and simplicity, which is what UBX provides.”

John Jempson, who has been named MD of UBX UK, said: “Based on our forecasts, our objective is to ultimately open up 250 clubs across the UK and Ireland.

"We're confident in the product and its potential to grow.

"This is because the UBX product and experience has been tested over a five-year period in a range of environments and has consistently attracted successful franchisees and members."

Chair of Empowered Brands, Pietro Nicholls, said the value of the UK/Ireland UBX deal could exceed £50m over the next five years in terms of the amount backer RM Funds is prepared to invest in franchise funding, systems, technology and infrastructure.

Nicholls said: “Our ambition to be the curator of leading and emerging brands in Europe will be greatly advanced by the UBX roll-out.

"We have hundreds of franchise enquiries every month from people who do not have the capital or appetite to build large fitness clubs and UBX, with its smaller venue requirements and lower cost of entry to the fitness market, is an ideal proven brand to take to a market we believe can only grow.”

Total project cost to open a UBX club is £130k-£200k, for a 1,500sq ft gym, taking into account franchise fees (£30k plus VAT per site), infrastructure investment of around £130k per location and royalties, which run at 8 per cent of turnover.

Set-up can be financed privately, thorough a lease arrangement or via bank finance through RM Funds.






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