CHICAGO — Bally Total Fitness expanded its reach in New England with the addition of seven clubs operated by Planet Fitness, the region's largest independent fitness chain in number of clubs, according to Bally spokesperson Jon Harris. An eighth facility is currently under construction in Stratford, CT, and is scheduled to open later this year.

“The addition of Planet Fitness further enhances our position as North America's leading company dedicated to health and fitness products and services,” said Lee Hillman, chairman and CEO of Bally Total Fitness. “We will leverage the marketing and operating synergies of both companies as Bally gains a larger presence in New England.”

With this acquisition, Bally will now have 19 clubs throughout New England, concentrated in Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island and Maine. Six of the clubs and the new facility under construction will be converted to the Company's flagship Bally Total Fitness brand. One downtown Boston location will be re-flagged to the company's Crunch Fitness brand.

Bally said that the management and staff of Planet Fitness will stay onboard as part of the “Bally family.”