McLEAN, VA -- Titan Fitness has secured private equity backing to further its efforts to open 60 Gold’s Gym locations in the next five years. Backing comes from WestView Capital Partners, a $200 million private equity fund based in Boston, that includes National City Equity Partners, a Cleveland, OH-based private equity fund – and WestView fund investor – with more than $1 billion of capital under management.

“Through our partnership with WestView, my partners and I will be able to achieve our long-term growth objectives as Gold’s Gym franchisees,” said Jeff Skeen, president and CEO of Titan Fitness. “It is an exciting time for our company as the only Gold’s Gym franchisee supported by institutional private equity. Now, we are well positioned to purchase and build health club chains to accomplish and hopefully exceed our plan.”

According to Skeen, Titan expects to grow its Gold’s Gym portfolio to more than 60 open locations nationwide during the next five years.

“Our philosophy is to invest equity capital to support outstanding management teams in realizing the strategic, financial and operational objectives of their businesses,” said John Turner, general partner of WestView Capital Partners. Added WestView principal Matt Carroll, “Titan’s leadership team exemplifies the type of management we seek to partner with – enthusiastic and experienced people with entrepreneurial spirit.”

With private equity financing secured, the Titan team, which includes AJ Mushtaq, chief financial officer; Dal Clayton, chief operating officer; Aaron Lieberman, chief development officer; and Josh Harwood, senior vice president of operations, intends to purchase health club chains with strong management teams in place that have a focus on growth. Titan will provide the processes, systems and tools necessary for each regional management team to effectively operate as a top-tier fitness franchise in their respective markets. Titan also plans to construct new Gold’s Gyms in attractive growth markets throughout the country to support its acquisitions.

“We celebrate the fact that Titan and WestView Capital together have made a significant investment in the Gold’s Gym brand,” says Keith Albright, senior vice president of Gold’s Gym International. “This is a powerful endorsement of our franchise opportunity.”

In 2007, Titan hired M&T Investment Banking Group – a division of M&T Bank, one of the country’s top 20 commercial banks – to assist in raising funding for its growth strategy. “The combination of Titan’s seasoned leadership team, their proven and well-developed growth strategy, plus the strength of the Gold’s Gym brand resulted in significant market interest, with WestView emerging as a terrific, well-capitalized partner,” says Rob White, managing director of M&T Investment Banking Group.