NEW YORK – Lincolnshire Management Inc., a New York-based private equity firm, has purchased The Alaska Club, which has 17 fitness centers in the state of Alaska.

Andrew Eker, former president and co-founder of The Alaska Club, is retiring and will be on the board after the sale, according to the Anchorage Daily News. Robert Brewster, The Alaska Club’s vice president, has been promoted to president.

“The original investors probably never anticipated the company would last as long as it did,” Brewster told the newspaper. “After 20 years, it was time for the investors to extract their money.”

Ares Capital Corp. helped arrange $72 million in loans for Lincolnshire’s investment in the club, according to an Ares Capital press release, but Brewster told the newspaper the $72 million was not the asking price.

“When my partner, Tom Behan and I, were looking for a new investment partner for The Alaska Club, we searched for investors who had an appreciation for what we had developed and shared our vision for continuing in the same direction,” Eker said in a Lincolnshire Management press release. “Lincolnshire Management impressed us with their commitment to our shared vision for the future of the clubs.”

Lincolnshire Management has completed more than 55 successful private equity investments, including sports equipment companies Prince Sports and Riddell Sports. Lincolnshire recently sold Prince Sports to Nautic Partners LLC. The Alaska Club purchase marks Lincolnshire’s first venture into the health club market.

“We are excited to have the current management of The Alaska Club as our partners moving forward,” Kate Lehman, a principal at Lincolnshire, said in the press release. “Their expertise and passion for the fitness industry combined with the resources of Lincolnshire Management will deliver exceptional value to the Alaska community.”