leadforensics DLL enters Italian market with Milan club purchase
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DLL enters Italian market with Milan club purchase

David Lloyd Leisure (DLL) is entering the Italian health club market after it exchanged contracts to buy the Malaspina Club in Milan. 

The deal is due to complete in September and will become the company’s 111th club. DLL now has 13 sites in mainland Europe, with locations in Holland (7), Belgium (2), Spain (2), Ireland (1) and Italy (1), and 98 clubs in the UK.   

DLL plans to invest €6million (US$6.7m, £5.3m) to refurbish and develop the Malaspina Club, which was built in 1972.

The club offers a range of health and fitness facilities, including three swimming pools (25m, 50m and kids pool), tennis and padel courts, football pitches, gym, spa and café bar facilities across a six-hectare site. On the east side of Milan, the family-focused club has 1,100 members.

DLL is looking for further acquisition opportunities and new-build sites in Italy as part of its expansion plans.

The announcement comes less than two weeks after the group’s completion of the purchase of 14 clubs from Virgin Active and the exchange of contracts to buy The Park Club in west London and The Academy Club in Harrogate, North Yorkshire.

The acquisitions mean that the company has passed the 500,000 member milestone, with membership at around 570,000.

Glenn Earlam, DLL chief executive, said: “The Malaspina deal is strategically important for us, as it is our very first club in Italy, and we hope that it is the first of many. We believe northern Italy offers great potential for us, with the right profile, an affluent area and densely populated. In a country where the family-focused health and fitness market is relatively untapped, we feel David Lloyd Clubs can satisfy a need and grow both our business and the market here.

“Growing our European portfolio both across those areas where we are already established and into new markets is now is now a primary focus for us, supported by strategic UK acquisitions and new builds. While we have ambitious plans for growth, we are well on track to achieve our target of 150 clubs by 2026.”

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