A potential deal that executives at Planet Fitness had been negotiating to sell the company is now off, according to a source close to Planet Fitness, Newington, NH.

Rumors of a major deal involving Planet Fitness have been circulating for the past several weeks. The unidentified company that wanted to buy Planet Fitness was from outside the fitness industry and was not an investment company, a source says.

“Negotiations have ceased, with the challenge cited as current credit markets tightening up substantially,” the source tells Club Industry.

Other entities may continue to pursue affiliations with Planet Fitness because of its position in the marketplace, the source adds.

Planet Fitness, regarded as the leader in the low-price sector of the industry, currently has 548 clubs. The company expects to open 130 clubs this year (it has opened 70 so far this year) after opening 103 clubs in 2011. Planet Fitness has almost 3.7 million members.

This is not the first time a deal involving Planet Fitness fell through. In 2010, Planet Fitness had been negotiating a minority sale to private-equity firm Goode Partners LLC, but that deal did not materialize.

Planet Fitness had been preparing to go public with an initial public offering last year, but those plans were put on hold as the company was engaged in a lawsuit with franchisee partners in PFNY LLC. The two sides were close to a settlement in June.