CHICAGO--Bally Total Fitness Holding Corp. has begun a sale process for its Crunch Fitness clubs to be conducted by The Blackstone Group L.P.

“The sale of Crunch is part of our overall strategy to restructure and focus the operations of the company and further the turnaround of Bally Total Fitness,” said Paul Toback, chairman and CEO of Bally Total Fitness. “The sale of Crunch would provide the buyer with a great fitness brand while enabling Bally to strengthen its core assets. We will evaluate the interest in Crunch we obtain from potential buyers and then determine the best course of action for our stakeholders.”

Crunch Fitness has more than 85,000 members and operates 21 upscale, full-service gyms in New York City, Chicago, Atlanta, San Francisco, Los Angeles and Miami.

As previously announced, Bally Total Fitness has engaged The Blackstone Group L.P. to assist in its turnaround strategy. The company will also continue to look at its entire portfolio of non-core assets to evaluate additional strategic alternatives that benefit stakeholders, according to a release from the company.