Exclusive: ‘Significant interest’ in Fitness First buyout | Leisure Opportunities
Leaderboard
Leisure Opportunities

Leisure Opportunities

Job Search
see all jobs
Job opportunities
The Gym Group
100% of your PT earnings
Nationwide, United Kingdom
City University of London
£22,214 - £24,285 per annum
London, United Kingdom
Hatfield Town Council
£17,500 - £20,000
Hatfield, United Kingdom
ESPA International (UK) Ltd
Competitive
South East, United Kingdom
Bracknell Leisure Centre
£15.46 weekdays & £18.68 weekends pa
Bracknell, United Kingdom

Exclusive: ‘Significant interest’ in Fitness First buyout

Job opportunities
Hull Culture and Leisure
30,785 - £33,437
location: Hull, United Kingdom
City University of London
£22,214 - £24,285 per annum
location: London, United Kingdom
Stevenage Leisure Limited
Competitive
location: Oakham, United Kingdom
more jobs

The potential sale of Fitness First UK has sparked “a significant amount of interest,” with the recovering gym chain having caught the attention of a slew of investors.

Fitness First UK managing director Martin Seibold told Health Club Management that the number of expressions of interest in the UK portfolio runs into double digits, with both private investors and trade buyers eyeing a potential buyout.

Fitness First Owner Oaktree Capital Management has said that all possibilities remain on the table in terms of the future of the company, but it has hired American investment bank Harris Williams to examine options for the UK business, while HSBC is advising on the gym chain’s overseas operations.

Having come close to collapse before its Company Voluntary Arrangement (CVA) in 2012, the chain has completed a remarkable turnaround, driven largely by its £200m+ transformation programme and a concerted move upmarket.

Since becoming Fitness First UK managing director in 2012, Seibold has presided over a major cull of under-performing locations, reducing a bloated estate of 185 clubs down to just 65 sites – mainly in prime London locations with a few outliers in affluent towns and cities.

“We had to make some very tough decisions to get rid of sites – we certainly didn’t get them all right,” said Seibold.

“There were some we should have kept and some we should have sold as well, but that's how it goes. It’s been a case of cooling down the turbine and ensuring we’ve got a solid portfolio of clubs with a clear proposition that is attractive to members.”

Having returned to EBITDA growth for the first time in five years in 2014, Fitness First UK has continued to build momentum according to Seibold, who said since May 2015 the chain has enjoyed membership growth of 15 per cent in London.

“The membership growth in London has been insane,” added Seibold. “Since May, our like-for-like performance has been better than anywhere I’ve seen worldwide in my 17 years in the industry.

“It’s certainly been a tough turnaround, but the transformation is starting to pay dividends and all of our clubs are now in profit.”

Sign up for FREE ezines & magazines
The potential sale of Fitness First UK has sparked “a significant amount of interest,” with the recovering gym chain having caught the attention of a slew of investors.
HAF,FIT,IND
992955_51498.jpg
More

News

Construction is underway on two new live music venues and a leisure-filled “urban gallery” in central London, designed by British architects Orms. The St Giles ... Read more
The UK attracted a record number of overseas visitors during June – thanks largely to the collapse in the value of the pound since the ... Read more
Gym and health club operators need to engage with their members and focus on customer service to help them retain numbers. In the latest issue ... Read more
European low-cost gym chain Basic-Fit is on target to open 100 clubs this year after it reported revenue growth of 26 per cent in the ... Read more
Culture and tech projects in the North of England will soon be able to bid for a slice from a £15m (US$19.3m, €16.5m) funding pie, ... Read more
Fitness franchise énergie Group has opened thé Yard - a new signature training concept that will be rolled out at its énergie and Fit4less clubs ... Read more
Spirit Fitness UK
Spirit Fitness UK
Swiss artist Felice Varini and the Chilean architecture practice Pezo von Ellrichshausen have been commissioned to design an ambitious temporary outdoor structure in the historic ... Read more
Tech startup Neurable has taken virtual reality to the next level, creating computer interfaces for the brain to allow users to control the technology using ... Read more
The historic Grayshott Spa in Surrey has been acquired by Austria-based health and medical resort specialists the Lanserhof Group. The family-run Lanserhof, which owns spas ... Read more
A curatorial development fund worth £500,000 (US$645,000, €550,000) has been created to help already established curators of museums and galleries in the UK learn new ... Read more
The All England Club is pushing forward with its plans to cover the No. 1 Court at Wimbledon. The new, retractable roof will form part ... Read more
One of the biggest misconceptions made in the physical activity sector is that retired people cannot train hard. Writing in the latest issue of Health ... Read more
Focus Training
Focus Training
One of the UK's biggest destination spas, the Lifehouse Spa and Hotel in the village of Thorpe le Soken, Essex, has had expansion plans scuppered ... Read more
Table Tennis England’s public funding has been reinstated after the national governing body finally agreed to a package of reforms compliant with the government’s Code ... Read more
An increasing number of local authority-owned leisure centres are being upgraded with spa facilities, as operators embrace the emerging trend to provide members with wellness. ... Read more
1 - 15 of 36,649