Roark takes massage business off Sentinel’s hands

Sentinel has sealed its third exit of the year with the sale of Massage Envy, which has generated $1bn in sales during the previous 12 months.

Lower mid-market firm Sentinel Capital Partners will sell massage therapy company Massage Envy to Roark Capital Group. Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed. 

Sentinel acquired Massage Envy in 2010, investing from its $765 million fourth fund that is more than 50 percent invested. Under Sentinel’s ownership, Massage Envy expanded from 600 clinics in the US to 800, and has generated $1 billion in sales during the previous 12 months, according to the firm. The deal marks Sentinel’s third exit of 2012, following the sale of corporate training company Inscape Publishing for $85 million in February and industrials company LTI-Boyd in July.

“The lending market is very strong right now,” partner at Sentinel Jim Coady told Private Equity International. Golub Capital provided debt financing in connection with the transaction.

Sentinel has also been active on the investment front this year, acquiring three businesses since March: Capitol Spine & Pain Centers, an add-on acquisition to portfolio company National Spine & Pain Centers; Southeastern US restaurant chain Huddle House and industrial casting company Colson Group. The firm made four new investments in 2011.

“I think that as we get to the end of 2012 that this will be one of our more active years in the history of our firm in terms of both buying and selling companies,” Coady said.

Sentinel, which manages $1.25 billion in capital, typically focuses on companies in the aerospace, defence, business services, consumer products, distribution, food, restaurant, franchising, healthcare services and industrial manufacturing industries.

Massage Envy represents Roark Capital Group’s third acquisition of 2012. The firm’s third fund is targeting $1.25 billion for investments in mid-market franchising, consumer products and services, environmental services and business services companies.

Roark’s current portfolio includes ice cream franchise Carvel Ice Cream, coupon business Money Mailer and sign-maker FASTSIGNS. The firm has $3 billion of equity capital under management.