Acquisition will fund national expansion plans.

NEW YORK - After more than six months of negotiations, the Manhattan gym chain Equinox Fitness Clubs has been sold to two private investment firms, according to a recent article in the New York Times. North Castle Partners, LLC, a privately owned equity company in Greenwich, Conn., and J.W. Child's Associates in Boston are the new owners. Equinox will be using the money from the acquisition, reported by the Times to be "significantly north of $100 million," to pay for its national expansion plans.

Currently, there are nearly a dozen Equinox clubs, mostly in Manhattan. The club chain hopes to add four to six clubs a year across the country for the next five years, and will only build in cities with a high percentage of wealthy residents, the article stated. Possible sites for new clubs include Los Angeles or San Francisco.

Although fees vary for Equinox clubs, they average $115 a month. Equinox mostly attracts an affluent clientele. In an interview with the Times, Harvey Spevak, the chief executive of the upscale chain, said, "[Gym fees] are a small percentage of their overall discretionary spending."

Equinox will still remain in the hands of its current management, including Danny Errico, a member of the club's founding family. The company is keeping the start date for its expansion a secret for the time being.