RSG Group has confirmed that its CEO, entrepreneur Rainer Schaller, was among those who died in a plane accident near Costa Rica over the weekend.
“We can confirm that Rainer Schaller, his family, and two other people were on board the aircraft at the time of the crash. As the situation is currently still being investigated on-site, we cannot comment further at this time and ask for your understanding,” the company wrote.
Schaller — who founded the company that came to run global brands such as McFit gym and Gold’s Gym — was on a list of people who were on a plane, the remains of which were found near Limón, Costa Rica, the Associated Press reported on Sunday.
The list also included “Christiane Schikorsky,” which is the name of Schaller’s girlfriend. It is now evident she was also likely on board.
Costa Rica officials have so far said they have found two bodies, one adult, and one child, as well as luggage and chunks of the plane. The plane that potentially carried Schaller originally became unavailable Friday.
“Around six in the afternoon, we received an alert about a flight coming from Mexico to the Limón airport, carrying five German passengers,” Security Minister Jorge Torres said.
Limón is on the eastern coast of Costa Rica, near the Caribbean.
Torres added that officials are searching for bodies off the coast of the country and thought everyone on the plane was a citizen of Germany, but that poor weather had delayed the search momentarily.
Who Is Rainer Schaller?
Rainer Schaller founded the first McFit gym in 1997 in Bavaria, Germany. He continued to open locations in Germany and had over 400,000 members across locations by 2006, per the company website. It began to buy up competitors and expand internationally, adding different types and brands of gyms.
In 2020, the parent company renamed RSG Group, purchased Gold’s Gym.
The company says it now has 21 brands, including several focused on creative management and design, and 41,000 employees.
Schaller is the company’s owner, CEO, and founder, per its website.
“We are shocked, stunned, and full of grief about this tragic accident. The news during the last few days has shaken us deeply, and our thoughts are with the family in these difficult hours,” the company added.