The 3 Biggest Discount Gyms in America

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Discount gyms offering affordable memberships and endless rows of cardio machines are exploding in number and popularity, and one prominent chain may even soon go public.

On May 26, Planet Fitness, a fast-growing chain owned by private equity firm TPG Consumer Partners, filed draft documents for an initial public offering. The submission to the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) doesn't disclose what ticker symbol the company would be listed, and the number of shares to be sold and the price range have yet to be determined, according to Planet Fitness.

Should Planet Fitness raise cash via an IPO, it would be well-positioned to expand even more aggressively in what remains a very fragmented gym facility industry.

According to research firm IBIS World, the 50 largest gym companies in the country together control only about 30% of the market, and there are only a dozen or so companies that own more than ten centers. Currently, there is only one publicly traded gym compan-- Town Sports International (TOWN), which operates popular brands such as New York Sports Club and Boston Sports Club in over 150 locations along the East Coast. Lifetime Fitness, a high-end gym operator, was purchased by Leonard Green & Partners and TPG Capital in 2015 in a transaction valued at more than $4 billion.

TheStreet takes a look at the three of the biggest discount gym chains in the business today, ranked from smallest to largest.

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