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North Castle Partners Invests in Curves International

-- Investment by North Castle to Support Further Growth of the World's Most Recognized Fitness Brand --

GREENWICH, Conn., Sept. 11, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- North Castle Partners today announced that it has completed an investment in Curves International, Inc., the largest fitness club franchisor in the world with approximately 7,300 locations in 90 countries of clubs specifically designed for women.  North Castle is a leading private equity firm focused exclusively on health, wellness and active living companies.  The terms of the investment by North Castle and its co-investors were not disclosed.

"As a firm focused on businesses that promote Health, Wellness, and Active Living, an investment in Curves was natural for us," said Chip Baird, North Castle's Founder and Managing Partner.  "We are excited to partner with the company's founders, Gary and Diane Heavin, to reinvigorate this world renowned company by applying our knowledge and experience in fitness and wellness from our current and prior investments, including International Fitness, Equinox Fitness, EAS and Octane Fitness."

Gary Heavin said, "Bringing in a partner, the right partner, can be an arduous process. We set out to find a partner with a commitment to values and the knowledge and experience to guide our company to its next level of success. When we met North Castle, we knew that they understood not only our industry but the passion that has driven us to create Curves. We believe our partnership with North Castle will allow us to continue to improve the lives of women."  

Curves, the most widely recognized fitness brand in the world, offers members a convenient and effective workout in an environment that is safe and supportive.  A Curves workout combines strength training and sustained cardiovascular activity in a coached environment.

"Curves is the number one brand in the world in women's fitness," said Jon Canarick, North Castle Managing Director.  "The concept of creating a safe environment specifically designed for women where participants can work out in comfort was revolutionary and that's in part why Curves grew so rapidly and why it remains in demand. We believe Curves can evolve to continue to address the changing needs of today's consumer in the U.S. and abroad by offering a more complete solution for women to meet their all-around wellness goals.  In addition, Curves has a strong growing business in many international markets, including the leading position in Japan, with considerable white space for expansion throughout Asia."

ABOUT NORTH CASTLE PARTNERS

North Castle Partners is a leading private equity firm focused on investments in consumer product and service businesses that promote Health, Wellness, and Active Living.  North Castle is a hands-on, value-added investor in high-growth, middle market companies in the beauty & personal care, consumer health, fitness, recreation & sports, home & leisure and nutrition sectors, among others. 

The firm's investments in the fitness space have included International Fitness, the leading operator of fitness clubs in Alberta, Canada; Equinox Fitness, the leading premium brand of health clubs in the United States; EAS, a leading marketer of sports nutrition products including protein bars and shakes; and Octane Fitness, a designer and marketer of low-impact cardio exercise equipment.

North Castle's other current portfolio includes such well-known brands as glominerals, Mineral Fusion, Red Door Spas, Performance Bicycles, Palladio Beauty Group, World Health Clubs, Octane Fitness, Ibex Outdoor Clothing and Flatout Flatbreads. 

Prior portfolio company holdings include Atkins Nutritionals, Cascade Helmets, Bora-Bora Organic Foods, Equinox Fitness, EAS, Enzymatic Therapy, CRC Health Group, Doctor's Dermatologic Formula, Naked Juice Company and Avalon Organics / Alba Botanicals. 

North Castle and its operating executives and advisors partner with management to bring a wide range of strategic and operational capabilities, as well as an extensive knowledge base and network to build world-class companies.  North Castle is headquartered in Greenwich, CT.  For more information, visit www.northcastlepartners.com.

ABOUT CURVES

Curves, founded in 1992, is the largest franchisor of fitness clubs in the world serving over 1.5 million members across 90 countries.  Founders Gary and Diane Heavin are considered the innovators of the express fitness phenomenon that has made exercise available to millions of women worldwide.  With over 7,300 locations, Curves aims to help women achieve their fitness and overall wellness goals.  For a location near you or more information, please visit www.curves.com.

Contact:
Jon Canarick
(203) 862-3237

SOURCE North Castle Partners

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