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EXCLUSIVE: Planet Fitness CEO 'Strongly' Disagrees With 'Misleading' Statements By Spruce Point Capital

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EXCLUSIVE: Planet Fitness CEO 'Strongly' Disagrees With  'Misleading' Statements By Spruce Point Capital
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Planet Fitness Inc (NYSE: PLNT) shares are mixed on Thursday, one day after Spruce Point Capital Management's Ben Axler said he was short the stock. Axler, who said the company has a "questionable business strategy," has gotten the attention of management.

In an email to Benzinga, Planet Fitness sent its response to Spruce Point's short position, attributable to CEO Chris Rondeau.

The full statement is below:

"We strongly disagree with the recent and misleading statements made about the Company. As one of the largest and fastest-growing franchisors and operators of fitness centers in the U.S., the business has never been stronger, as evidenced by our 2015 performance that included system-wide same-store sales growth of 7.7% in addition to surpassing our 1,100th location and opening 209 new stores throughout the year."

"We are confident that our differentiated, asset light business model positions us well to continue to deliver profitable growth and increased shareholder returns over the short and long-term. We have a group of well capitalized franchisees who are reinvesting in our business, with approximately 90% of new stores opened in 2015 by current franchisees and more than 1,000 stores committed to open within the next 5 years. We look forward to continuing to build on our solid foundation and capitalize on the significant growth opportunities that lie ahead in 2016 and beyond."

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