Dubai International Capital (DIC), the international investment arm of Dubai Holding, has acquired a significant stake in the True Group, a leading provider of health and fitness services in South East Asia. The investment will support the group’s international expansion drive into new markets.
The True Group was established in 2004 as Singapore’s largest health and fitness centre at Pacific Plaza in the heart of Singapore’s downtown shopping area. Following the True Group’s early success in Singapore, it has expanded steadily across South East Asia and has become one of the largest fitness, yoga and wellness groups in the region.
Its network of 17 centres in Singapore in addition to Malaysia, Thailand and Taiwan serve more than 70,000 members. Through a range of concepts within the True Group umbrella, a host of needs are met including fitness, yoga and spa.
“It is a testament to our strategy of selecting market leaders in a range of diverse sectors in addition to our increasing focus on Asia as a key driver of growth for 2008 and beyond,” DIC Chief Executive Sameer Al Ansari said in a statement.
“We view this acquisition as an important milestone in the evolution of Dubai International Capital Emerging Markets as it demonstrates our ability to operate even in the most challenging mergers and acquisitions and credit market conditions and reinforces our position as a partner of choice for such well-run businesses.”
Anand Krishnan, Chief Operating Officer and acting CEO of DIC Emerging Markets, added: “The True Group’s successful management team has earned an excellent track record for building a strong regional brand and we look forward to supporting their expansion plans and making this unique concept accessible to consumers throughout Asia and the Middle East.”
“The wellness market in Asia is particularly attractive because there is a rapidly expanding segment of consumers whose higher disposable income has created a demand for such services. The level of wellness club membership in Asia is still however only one fifth of what it is in the US and Europe so we see attractive growth potential in our investment.”
DIC’s investment in the True Group will enable further growth of the group’s operations throughout South East Asia, the Indian Subcontinent and the Middle East.
“With the True Group’s presence in four countries, namely Malaysia, Singapore, Taiwan and Thailand, currently spanning over 17 centres and over 500,000 square feet of space, this collaboration makes it possible to grow to 100 centres in the next five years across new territories,” said Patrick Wee, Founder and CEO of the True Group.
This brings us one step closer to realising my vision of establishing the True Group as a truly global wellness brand, offering a complete lifestyle haven dedicated to improving physical, mental and emotional wellness.”
The acquisition is consistent with DIC’s strategy to invest in Asia and in successful businesses that are leaders in their chosen markets and have demonstrated strong potential for growth. DIC has a specialist team dedicated to achieving value-creation by working with the company’s existing management, developing new growth opportunities and using DIC’s network of business relationships.
DIC acquires stake in Singapore’s True Group