Abu Dhabi's Mubadala flexes muscles in Russia

Arab News, 28.11.2018
  • Abu Dhabi fund invests in Russia's biggest gym chain
  • Mubadala controls assets estimated to be worth $226 billion

ABU DHABI: Mubadala Investment Company has teamed up with the Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF) to take a major stake in Russia’s biggest fitness group.

The consortium that also includes other regional investment funds has taken a 22.5 percent stake in Russian Fitness Group, which manages the largest chain of fitness clubs in Russia under the ‘World Class’ brand.

The consortium acquired the stake from VTB Capital. It comes as Moscow increasingly promotes healthy living in a country where heart disease accounts for more than two thirds of all deaths according to the World Health Organization.

“Together we will create the conditions needed to improve the quality of life,” said Kirill Dmitriev, CEO of RDIF. “Through both this project and the mixed martial arts company UFC Russia, which was established in partnership with Mubadala, RDIF is promoting the development and popularization of sports in Russia. ”

RDIFis Russia’s sovereign wealth fund and Mubadala is similarly focused on boosting the wealth of Abu Dhabi. Mubadala is active in 13 sectors and more than 30 countries around the world.

Russian Fitness Group operates World Class and World Class Lite fitness clubs chains. Today World Class is the largest fitness corporation in Russia operating 39 own and 46 franchised clubs in 34 cities.