CIT Serves as Financial Advisor in Sale of Massage Envy

Edgeview Partners Advises on Sale of Leading Franchisor of Massage Clinics

CHARLOTTE, N.C.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Edgeview Partners, a CIT company, today announced that Massage Envy Limited LLC, a national franchisor of massage clinics, was acquired by Natural Wellness USA, Inc., a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Essel Group headquartered in Mumbai, India. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

Edgeview served as the exclusive financial advisor to Massage Envy during the sale. Prior to its purchase by Natural Wellness USA, Massage Envy was privately owned.

“It was a pleasure to have the opportunity to help find a partner for Massage Envy, an exciting company with great growth prospects,” said Drew Quartapella, Managing Director at Edgeview Partners. “In Natural Wellness, Massage Envy is getting a strong partner with a singular focus on promoting healthy lifestyles that will help support Massage Envy’s core franchise and broaden its product offering.”

Massage Envy founder and Chief Executive Officer John Leonesio will remain with the company as a corporate director. David Humphrey, president of Natural Wellness USA, will take over as Massage Envy CEO, while continuing in his current role. Massage Envy Chief Operating Officer Dave Crisalli will remain in his current position, with expanded responsibilities as leader of the Massage Envy executive team.

“Edgeview Partners helped the Massage Envy management team evaluate our alternatives and consummate a transaction with a strategic partner who will expand our business while allowing me to achieve my personal objectives,” said Mr. Leonesio. “We are excited about Massage Envy’s business prospects with Natural Wellness and look forward to exploring new ways to promote healthy, natural living for consumers.”

Securities and investment banking services were provided through CIT Capital Securities LLC, an affiliate of Edgeview Partners.

Individuals interested in receiving future updates on CIT via e-mail can register at

About Massage Envy

Based in Scottsdale, Ariz., Massage Envy has 418 clinics in operation and over 350 additional clinics in development. The company has largely defined the franchised market in the fast-growing, $10 billion-plus domestic massage therapy industry, offering affordable massages at convenient locations with flexible hours. Founded in 2002, the Massage Envy franchise has grown rapidly by offering professional and affordable massage therapy services to consumers with busy lifestyles. Massage Envy offers a wide variety of treatments to customers who can purchase monthly memberships or pay as they go.

About Natural Wellness USA

Natural Wellness USA is best known for its primary consumer brand, Veria (, under which it operates the Veria TV television network of original wellness programming, Veria Wellness Centers that offer wellness spa services and products, yoga and other classes/seminars and, a website dedicated to information on the natural wellness lifestyle and a major online shopping destination for wellness products. Natural Wellness USA is a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Essel Group. The Essel Group is an India-based multi-billion dollar conglomerate encompassing television networks, cable systems, satellite communications, theme parks and one of the world’s largest packaging companies.

About Edgeview Partners

Edgeview Partners is a leading investment bank focused exclusively on the middle market. Edgeview has closed deals in more than 15 industry sectors, including aerospace and defense, building products, business services, consumer products, diversified manufacturing, energy services, health care, and transportation and logistics. Edgeview is part of CIT, a leading provider of finance solutions for companies throughout the middle market.

About CIT

CIT (NYSE: CIT) is a global commercial finance company that provides financial products and advisory services to more than one million customers in over 50 countries across 30 industries. A leader in middle market financing, CIT has more than $80 billion in managed assets and provides financial solutions for more than half of the Fortune 1000. A member of the S&P 500 and Fortune 500, it maintains leading positions in asset-based, cash flow and Small Business Administration lending, equipment leasing, vendor financing and factoring. The CIT brand platform, Capital Redefined, articulates its value proposition of providing its customers with the relationship, intellectual and financial capital to yield infinite possibilities. Founded in 1908, CIT is celebrating its Centennial throughout 2008.