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Bannatyne acquires LivingWell Premier for £90m

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Bannatyne Fitness has acquired the LivingWell Premier health club chain for around £90m, resulting in the value of the independently-owned company rising to more than £200m.

The 24 standalone LivingWell Premier clubs were put up for sale by their US owner Hilton Hotels Corporation (HHC) in April, following its acquisition of UK-based Hilton International earlier this year.

The deal brings the number of clubs in the Bannatyne Fitness chain to 61 and the total membership base to 180,000.

Bringing the two companies together under the Bannatyne brand is designed to give the chain a stronger geographical presence across the UK.

The chain is already established in Scotland, the north east and parts of the south, but the new deal provides a significant presence in the Midlands and London.

Bannatyne has, for example, acquired clubs in Birmingham, Peterborough, Luton and Milton Keynes – areas it had not yet developed.

Commenting on the deal, owner and entrepreneur Duncan Bannatyne, said: “This deal demonstrates the confidence and optimism we have in the UK health club sector. There is a strong desire for good facilities, in the right place and at the right price.”

Nigel Armstrong, Bannatyne’s managing director, who was responsible for leading the deal, added: “Long before this deal was possible, LivingWell clubs were regarded as an ideal fit for our business. Their locations will allow the new chain to reach every major centre of population on the mainland; a map that makes the new firm a leading player in the market.

“In terms of the service offered, all of the clubs are of an exceptionally high standard with the full range of fitness facilities, including swimming pools. Also, the addition of high quality spa facilities in the LivingWell clubs will result in excellent cross usage opportunities for existing members.

“The LivingWell deal will inject new life into the health and fitness sector, reviving it for the benefit of both customers and investors.

“Our vision is to enable our members to improve their lifestyle by providing services, including the latest training equipment, varied exercise classes, nutritional advice, relaxing spa services and personal training advice.”

Bannatyne was advised by Anglo Irish Bank.

HHC will continue to operate LivingWell Health Clubs and LivingWell Express brands located within its hotels.

Photograph: Nigel Armstrong and Duncan Bannatyne

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Bannatyne Fitness has acquired the LivingWell Premier health club chain for around £90m, resulting in the value of the independently-owned company rising to more than £200m.