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Digme denies reports of 'collapse'

Founders of boutique operator Digme Fitness dismiss reports that chain has 'collapsed'
Caoimhe and Geoff Bamber said the group completed a restructuring process in February
All four Digme-branded studios are currently operating
National press has focused on the role of Akshata Murthy, the wife of chancellor Rishi Sunak, as a minority investor in Digme
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The founders of boutique operator Digme Fitness have dismissed reports in the UK's national press which claimed that the company has "collapsed".

The Times and the Daily Mail are among the outlets reporting that Digme had ceased trading, highlighting the fact that chancellor Rishi Sunak's wife, Akshata Murthy, owns a minority stake in the company.

However, speaking exclusively to HCM, co-founders Caoimhe and Geoff Bamber described the reports as "misleading press speculation" – and said the articles had been published without anyone contacting them directly.

"As part of building a sustainable business and to put the company on a sound footing for the world of today, and with the end of the rent moratorium looming at the end of March 2022, it was necessary to undertake a restructuring process in order to bring down overheads," the pair said.

"Contrary to recent press speculation, the company has not “collapsed” – we successfully concluded the restructuring of the business in February 2022 and are now in the process of rebuilding our business and community after a challenging two years since first locking down in March 2020.

"All four of our studios – Moorgate, Richmond, Bank and Covent Garden – are open, operating as normal and will continue to do so.

"Indeed, we are adding additional classes to our timetables every week as demand returns following the pandemic.

"Notwithstanding all of the difficulties we have been through as a result of the pandemic, we and the team are completely united in the belief that the best times are ahead for Digme. We have an incredible team, exciting and differentiated products, four wonderful studios and a new and brilliant digital platform in Digme at Home.

"Tough times are sent to test us but we have survived and we are very excited for the future."

Digme opened its first site in 2016 in Richmond, London and in January 2020, just before the pandemic hit, acquired Another Space – the boutique studio arm of premium health club operator Third Space.

In October 2020, Digme launched its own, branded at-home fitness offer as a response to the pandemic and the subsequent "pivot to digital".

There has been no confirmation as to which debts were shed by Digme as part of the restructure.

The government's rent moratorium on the forfeiture of commercial leases came to an end on 25 March.

There are concerns that the end of the moratorium could pile further pressure on fitness operators, as many operate in rented premises and it's expected that a certain number of businesses may close in the coming weeks and months where it has not been possible to agree deals with landlords.

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The founders of boutique operator Digme Fitness have dismissed reports in the UK's national press which claimed that the company has "collapsed".
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