Kimberly Williams, Chief Operating Officer, Retrofit Inc.
Healthy living, exercise and weight-loss programs have managed to catch the eye of corporate and financial dealmakers alike. Private equity firm LNK Partners, for example, purchased a stake in Beachbody LLC, owner of the P90X workout program, late in 2012 as a way to keep up with the "good-for-you" movement. Consider Retrofit Inc. to be the latest company to attract investors' attention due to its own brand of fitness and growing consumer base.
The Skokie, Ill.-based company, which caters mainly to business professionals who may struggle to find time to keep in shape, is currently looking to tap private capital sources to boost growth. Retrofit clients utilize the company's data-driven weight loss program, which lasts about a year and includes wireless monitoring of a client's weight, activity and sleep habits. It also offers private lessons with a registered dietitian, physiologist and behavior coach.
Retrofit recently tapped Kimberly Williams as chief operating officer to help improve its wireless technology. Previously, Williams was president of Restaurant Technology Services LLC, a former subsidiary of McDonald's Corp. (NYSE: MCD) that was sold to Xerox Corp. (NYSE: XRX) in November. Before that she was president of a $240 million subsidiary of Banta Specialized Publications Group, now owned by Chicago-based R.R. Donnelley (Nasdaq: RRD), where she generated annual operating earnings of nearly $27 million. Mergers & Acquisitions spoke with Williams just as she took on her new post at Retrofit.
Is Retrofit likely to expand via M&A?
Retrofit has a core competency in behavior change, which can be applied to areas outside of weight loss, such as smoking cessation, financial management and chronic illness management. So when Retrofit chooses to leverage its behavior change competency in these other areas, leveraging an M&A strategy to gain domain knowledge will accelerate this expansion.
How has Retrofit grown since it was founded in 2010?
Both consumer and corporate clients have learned how to lose weight and keep it off by keeping with Retrofit's approach, which is private lessons for sustainable results. The company currently has 50 full-time employees and more than 30 contractors nationwide. Retrofit expects to double its number of employees within a year.
Considering the company's recent fund raise of $10.7 million, why have investors found Retrofit to be an attractive target?
The biggest attraction for investors is that Retrofit has driven unrivaled weight-loss results for busy professionals. More than 90 percent of our clients are losing weight and keeping it off. They view Retrofit as a solution to our nation's largest healthcare issues. In addition, we have been successful at growing the client base without sacrificing client weight-loss outcomes.
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