CrossFit wins court case, avoids corporate takeover

Francois Durand

CEO and founder Greg Glassman now owns 100% of the fitness company thanks to a court ruling and some hasty fund-raising.

Popular fitness company CrossFit will retain its independence after its founder Greg Glassman secured sole control of the company in a deal completed this past Wednesday. Glassman obtained funding from Summit Partners to buy out CrossFit's co-owner and Mr. Glassman's estranged wife, Lauren Glassman, thus ending a power struggle over one of America's fastest growing fitness brands.

The Glassmans had shared ownership of CrossFit, Inc. throughout CrossFit's rapid growth from grassroots open-source fitness program to full-blown nationally televised sport. Their divorce led to a legal mess for the company: Lauren attempted to sell her half of the company to Anthos Capital, an investment firm with rumored plans to make changes that Greg called "wholly destructive of our model." (Lauren and Anthos refuted those claims.)

Greg announced the deal in a post on crossfit.com's message board Thursday afternoon:

As of yesterday morning I own 100% of CrossFit Inc. stock.

I want to thank my staff, our lawyers, the affiliates, and the entire CF community for rallying to our common defense.

This was a harrowing experience that pulled critical staff from their normal duties for six months and cost millions of dollars in legal fees.

More specifically, the divorce court in Arizona's Yavapai County ruled on November 2nd that Greg had until November 15th to match Anthos's offer for Lauren's stake in the company. In a phone call Thursday afternoon, Greg confirmed to SB Nation that Summit Partners, a growth equity firm based in Boston, had provided a $16,093,000 loan to meet the tight deadline for raising the capital. He reiterated there is "no role for private equity" in the CrossFit community.

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