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24 Hour Fitness to exit bankruptcy after confirming restructuring plan

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24 Hour Fitness will emerge from chapter 11 bankruptcy this week after the gym chain secured backing for its restructuring plan.

The US Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware confirmed the group's plan, which will clear it to exit bankruptcy by 31 December 2020.

24 Hour Fitness has 'reduced' US$1.2bn of funded debt and will operate with an "optimised cost structure, leaner balance sheet, and improved real estate footprint". It's thought to have reduced its staffing headcount by around 60 per cent.

The fitness chain had been carrying US$1.3 billion in debt from a 2014 leveraged buyout by a group led by AEA Investors and the Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan who acquired 24 Hour Fitness from private equity form, Forstmann Little & Co for a reputed US$1.85bn.

It has not yet been confirmed who is carrying the losses it has shed, nor the arrangement under which this debt has been 'reduced'.

The company filed for Chapter 11 protection in June, blaming it on a "disproportionate impact of the COVID-19 pandemic" on its operations.

Before the Chapter 11 announcement, 24 Hour Fitness had around 430 locations.

The Chapter 11 process has resulted in the closure of more than 100 clubs, leaving the company with a network of 286 clubs in the US – 91 are currently open, with 36 of 24 Hour Fitness’ 174 Californian clubs open for outdoor fitness.

Karl Sanft, COO, said outoor fitness is not designed to make money – "at best it’s a break-even operation", but it keeps employees in work and members engaged. Sanft said the company is also planning to launch outdoor fitness options in San Francisco.

In announcing the restructure, CEO, Tony Ueber, said: “With confirmation of the Plan, 24 Hour Fitness is firmly on track to emerge from chapter 11 by the end of the year.

"The Court’s decision reinforces the strength and promise of our business strategy and our plans for the future.

"Most importantly, it ensures we will continue our mission of helping to transform the lives of our members every day through fitness."

The compnay is offering all members full access to facilities until 31 March, regardless of membership category and has published a full plan for compensation for vendors, members and staff on a special website which you can view here..

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24 Hour Fitness will emerge from chapter 11 bankruptcy this week after the gym chain secured backing for its restructuring plan.
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