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“Private Equity Firms Consider Buyout as Peloton Seeks Refinancing and Growth”

Private Equity Firms Consider Buyout of Peloton Amidst Financial Struggles

Peloton, the connected fitness company that became a pandemic darling, is reportedly in talks with private equity firms regarding a potential buyout. The company has faced 13 consecutive quarters of losses and is looking to refinance its debt and regain its growth momentum. While it is unclear how interested the firms are in acquiring Peloton, several have shown interest in the acquisition. One of the key focuses for these firms is finding ways to reduce Peloton’s operating expenses to make a buyout more appealing.

To address this issue, Peloton recently announced a broad restructuring plan that aims to cut its annual run-rate expenses by over $200 million by the end of fiscal 2025. This strategic move, if successful, could make the company more attractive to potential buyers.

News of the potential buyout has already had a positive impact on Peloton’s stock, with shares soaring over 18% in premarket trading. However, it is important to note that there is no guarantee that a deal will be made, and Peloton may choose to remain a public company.

Peloton’s current market capitalization stands at around $1.3 billion, a significant drop from its peak of $49.3 billion in January 2021. While the company has a loyal user base and a profitable subscription business, its expensive equipment has been a challenge. High-profile recalls have turned some members away from the brand and cost Peloton millions. Additionally, the demand for expensive at-home exercise equipment has decreased as consumers across income groups cut back on big-ticket purchases.

Over the past two years, Peloton has struggled to grow sales, generate free cash flow, and achieve profitability. The decline in demand for its hardware and high costs have contributed to its downward trajectory. In response to these challenges, Peloton announced CEO Barry McCarthy’s departure and plans to cut its staff by 15%. These cost-cutting measures, along with reductions in marketing, research and development, IT, and software, are expected to generate savings and help Peloton achieve sustained free cash flow.

Another factor weighing on Peloton is its debt, which totals approximately $1.7 billion. The company has been working closely with its lenders at JPMorgan and Goldman Sachs on a refinancing strategy. Peloton aims to deleverage and extend maturities at a reasonable cost of capital. Despite these financial struggles, sources close to the company believe that Peloton will have no issues refinancing its debt.

In conclusion, Peloton’s potential buyout by private equity firms comes as the company seeks to overcome its financial challenges and return to growth. The restructuring plan, cost-cutting measures, and refinancing strategy are all steps towards improving Peloton’s financial position. While the outcome of the buyout talks is uncertain, they represent a potential lifeline for the company as it navigates a competitive market and adapts to changing consumer preferences.

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