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Total Fitness targets growth through acquisitions

Resurgent health club chain Total Fitness is bidding to drive growth through “opportunistic” acquisitions as the company continues its turnaround strategy.

Having hit hard times at the start of the decade, the business is currently 60 per cent of the way through an estimated £18.5m refurbishment of its estate (17 clubs and counting), which has so far seen membership increase from 76,000 to 90,000.

Privaty equity firm NorthEdge Capital recently backed a management buyout of Total Fitness with an investment of £11.5m and NorthEdge partner Ray Stenton has told Health Club Management that the chain is looking to drive growth through a number of channels.

“The business has grown well with limited investment and there’s a real opportunity to build on that. There’ll be opportunistic new site openings based on acquisition – we’re looking at two or three possibilities at the moment,” said Stenton, who is also a non-executive director of Total Fitness.

“New builds aren’t on the immediate radar, although we might consider it were the right site to come up. But there are a number of former Total Fitness sites that were sold during the

restructuring of the business, and they’re the most obvious things to look at if wecan get them to work; the Wrexham reopening (in April 2015) was the first of those.”

Stenton added that the business is also looking closely at its digital strategy, as well as the potential in the north of England for more of the boutique offerings that have proved so popular in London recently.

Despite the raft of new developments, Total Fitness has so far refrained from commenting on details of a potential collaboration with Asda. As previously reported in Health Club Management Total Fitness is believed to be working on a new functional fitness concept for the supermarket giant, with the first site expected to open in Swindon.

To read an in-depth profile of the Total Fitness top team, from the August 2015 edition of Health Club Management, click here.

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Resurgent health club chain Total Fitness is bidding to drive growth through “opportunistic” acquisitions as the company continues its turnaround strategy.

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