RDIF announces joint project of UFC and World Class

Press release, 18.04.2019

Saint-Petersburg, April 18, 2019 - The Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF), Russia’s sovereign wealth fund, announces a new joint project involving its portfolio companies. The Russian Fitness Group (RFG), which manages Russia's largest chain of fitness clubs under the World Class brand, and UFC Russia, a joint venture of RDIF and the US company UFC, which develops the mixed martial arts industry (MMA) in Russia, have agreed to open fitness clubs under the world-famous brand UFC Gym in Russia. Since its inception in 2009, UFC Gym has opened over 150 clubs around the world. The announcement was made today at the UFC Fight Night event in St. Petersburg.

According to the agreement, RFG will receive the exclusive right to use the UFG Gym brand in Russia. RFG plans to open dozens of sports clubs under this brand across Russian regions, targeting a more affordable segment compared to the World Class. The launch of pilot clubs under the joint project is expected within a year. The newly opened clubs will focus on providing innovative fitness services and martial arts for adults and children.

Kirill Dmitriev, CEO of the Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF), said:
“We are pleased to support the development of the Russian Fitness Group and UFC in Russia and expect significant synergies with our portfolio company UFC Russia. RDIF has formed an investment ecosystem that brings together not only the world's largest sovereign wealth funds, but also more than 70 leading Russian companies across various sectors. This enables RDIF to find new opportunities for the development of portfolio companies and act as a catalyst for promising projects, as well as creating synergies based on such collaboration. The project will also help create facilities for physical exercise and mass sports for all population groups, an objective set out by the national project “Demography”.

Olga Sloutsker, Chairman of the Board of RFG, said:
“Since the opening of the first World Class fitness club 25 years ago we have been bringing our country the best achievements of the world’s fitness industry, the most advanced equipment and trendiest programs. In line with this mission, RFG is happy to offer Russians a new kind of training by UFC Gym. Their idea is to make world-class UFC athletes’ training available to everyone no matter the age, sex or athletic ability. I am sure that UFC Gym clubs operated by RFG will be popular, especially among the young, and we will do our best to make these trainings available in terms of cost.”


Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF) is Russia's sovereign wealth fund established in 2011 to make equity co-investments, primarily in Russia, alongside reputable international financial and strategic investors. RDIF acts as a catalyst for direct investment in the Russian economy. RDIF’s management company is based in Moscow. Currently, RDIF has experience of the successful joint implementation of more than 70 projects with foreign partners totaling more than 1.5 trillion rubles and covering 95% of the regions of the Russian Federation. RDIF portfolio companies employ more than 700,000 people, and generate revenues which equate to more than 5% of Russia’s GDP. RDIF established joint strategic partnerships with leading international co-investors from more than 15 countries that total more than 40 billion dollars. Further information can be found at rdif.ru

Russian Fitness Group operates World Class and World Class Lite fitness clubs chains. In 1993, the first fitness club of world-class standards was opened in Moscow under the brand name of World Class. It was the cornerstone of the fitness industry in Russia and CIS countries. In 2018, World Class celebrated its 25-year anniversary. Today, RFG is the largest fitness corporation in Russia operating 45 own and 47 franchised clubs in 34 cities of 6 countries, including Kazakhstan, Kirgizstan, Georgia, Monaco and Turkey. Further information can be found at www.worldclass.ru.

UFC is a premium global sports brand and the largest Pay-Per-View event provider in the world. UFC boasts more than 278 million fans worldwide and has produced over 460 events in 24 countries since its inception in 1993. Acquired in 2016 by global sports, entertainment and fashion leader Endeavor (formerly WME IMG), together with strategic partners Silver Lake Partners and KKR, UFC is headquartered in Las Vegas with a network of employees around the world. UFC produces more than 40 live events annually that consistently sell out some of the most prestigious arenas around the globe, while programming is broadcast in over 165 countries and territories to more than 1.0 billion TV households worldwide in 40 different languages. UFC FIGHT PASS, a digital subscription service, delivers exclusive live events, thousands of fights on-demand and original content to fans around the world. Further information can be found at ru.ufc.com

UFC Gym is the first major brand extension of UFC, the world’s premier MMA organization. In alliance with New Evolution Ventures (NeV), developers of many of the world’s most successful fitness brands. As the first to combine the worlds of MMA and fitness, UFC GYM’s TRAIN DIFFERENT approach creates an atmosphere where members can see immediate results and appeals to all ages and training levels. UFC GYM is the ultimate fitness experience. The brand is not what you expect, and more than you can imagine. With 150 locations open and over 500 currently in development, UFC GYM is revolutionizing the fitness industry. Further information can be found at www.ufcgym.com.

For additional information contact:
Arseniy Palagin
Russian Direct Investment Fund
Press Secretary
Tel: +7 495 644 34 14, ext. 2395
Mobile: +7 916 110 31 41
E-mail: arseniy.palagin@rdif.ru

Andrew Leach / Maria Shiryaevskaya
Hudson Sandler
Tel: +44 (0) 20 7796 4133