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Bannatyne Group scraps IPO plans

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The Bannatyne Group has ditched plans for a partial IPO and is now reassessing its options for raising capital to fuel growth.

The business had been lining up a £300m float on London’s Alternative Investment Market (AIM), however it is understood that market officials expressed concerns over the personal history of company owner Duncan Bannatyne. In November last year, a judge ruled that Bannatyne had provided false evidence in a divorce case.

Reports had suggested that Bannatyne would stand down from the board to enable the float to go ahead, however Health Club Management understands that the gym chain decided against this course of action.

A Bannatyne spokesperson said: "The Board of Bannatyne Group Limited has decided that it will not list on AIM at this time. The company has many options available to enable it to continue its growth operating as a private company.”

The company had hoped to raise fresh capital of around £85m through the IPO, to continue with its expansion and refurbishment programme, as well as pursuing growth opportunities.

The Group is currently working through a £16m investment programme to refurbish its 66-strong estate, while it also wants to carry forward growth momentum from recent acquisitions such as the purchase of Clarice House country hotel and spa, as well as the Xpect health club in Braintree.

The company still has appetite to raise additional capital and will weigh up options while continuing its revival under CEO Justin Musgrove. The latest set of accounts show that last year signalled a return to form for the business, as profits doubled and revenues climbed three per cent to reach £100.9m.

The Bannatyne Group’s decision to scrap plans for a listing comes as Pure Gym also puts its IPO ambitions on hold due to post-Brexit vote market turbulence. In November, The Gym Group became first UK gym operator to go public in more than a decade, however it now appears that the wait for another fitness industry listing may be longer than initially expected.

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The Bannatyne Group has ditched plans for a partial IPO and is now reassessing its options for raising capital to fuel growth.
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Les Mills International
Les Mills International