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Esporta’s Gillis and Ball resign

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Esporta’s chief executive, Neil Gillis, and its financial director Michael Ball have resigned.

The health club operator confirmed to Leisure Opportunities that Gillis and Ball have tendered their resignations and are working out their notice periods.

In a joint statement, the pair said that they had “both enjoyed working for Esporta and wish the company the best for the future”, but made no further comment as to the reasons for their departure.

The news could mean that Esporta’s bid for rival chain David Lloyd Leisure (DLL) – owned by Whitbread – could be jeopardy. DLL is also thought to have received offers from LA Fitness and Next Generation.

Esporta itself was acquired last November by property investor Simon Halabi for an undisclosed sum.

Halibi said: “We are committed to making Esporta one of the premier health club businesses in Europe and continue to progress a number of initiatives to help us progress this aim.

"I would like to thank Neil and Michael for their contribution to the business to date and, in particular, for their help at the time of our acquisition. They will leave us with a great platform from which we can achieve our ambitions and I wish them well for the future.”

Gillis joined the company from Greene King in June 2003.

Photograph: Neil Gillis

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Esporta’s chief executive, Neil Gillis, and its financial director Michael Ball have resigned.
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