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FITNESS, HEALTH, WELLNESS

Latest news

DW Sports leads five-way Fitness First split as deal nears completion

The fate of Fitness First looks likely to be settled within weeks.

Industry sources indicate the portfolio of clubs is likely to be split at least five ways, with Harris Williams handling the negotiations.

Health Club Management reported back in June that Dave Whelan’s DW Sports was in talks to take over the Fitness First portfolio. It’s understood he remains likely to acquire the majority of the sites, with operators, such as The Gym Group, GLL and others coming in to pick up parts of the portfolio.

The sale of clubs which are peripheral to the core business had always been the plan under Fitness First’s ongoing 'optimisation strategy'.

This has seen the operator streamline from its peak of 165 clubs in 2012, as it worked to adapt to shrinkage in the mid-market.

DW Sports’ estate comprises around 80 sites, while there are currently 65 Fitness First clubs.

The deal for the majority of these will enable DW to move closer to rivalling Pure Gym, which has become the UK’s largest private operator, with more than 160 clubs.

Pure is not thought to be in the Fitness First deal, although this has not been confirmed.

Our reporting in June indicated that the enlarged DW would be operated as a dual-brand entity, with Fitness First UK MD Martin Seibold set to be retained and an IPO likely in 2018. However, this has not been confirmed either.

The sale of the UK arm of Fitness First will be the first step in the long-anticipated break up of the 370-strong global business. Owner Oaktree Capital Management is likely to sell the rest of the clubs – in Asia, Australia and Germany – after the UK deal is completed.

We'll keep you posted on further developments as they emerge.

The fate of Fitness First looks likely to be settled within weeks.
HAF,IND
THUMB13189_170132.jpg
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Latest news

DW Sports leads five-way Fitness First split as deal nears completion

The fate of Fitness First looks likely to be settled within weeks.

Industry sources indicate the portfolio of clubs is likely to be split at least five ways, with Harris Williams handling the negotiations.

Health Club Management reported back in June that Dave Whelan’s DW Sports was in talks to take over the Fitness First portfolio. It’s understood he remains likely to acquire the majority of the sites, with operators, such as The Gym Group, GLL and others coming in to pick up parts of the portfolio.

The sale of clubs which are peripheral to the core business had always been the plan under Fitness First’s ongoing 'optimisation strategy'.

This has seen the operator streamline from its peak of 165 clubs in 2012, as it worked to adapt to shrinkage in the mid-market.

DW Sports’ estate comprises around 80 sites, while there are currently 65 Fitness First clubs.

The deal for the majority of these will enable DW to move closer to rivalling Pure Gym, which has become the UK’s largest private operator, with more than 160 clubs.

Pure is not thought to be in the Fitness First deal, although this has not been confirmed.

Our reporting in June indicated that the enlarged DW would be operated as a dual-brand entity, with Fitness First UK MD Martin Seibold set to be retained and an IPO likely in 2018. However, this has not been confirmed either.

The sale of the UK arm of Fitness First will be the first step in the long-anticipated break up of the 370-strong global business. Owner Oaktree Capital Management is likely to sell the rest of the clubs – in Asia, Australia and Germany – after the UK deal is completed.

We'll keep you posted on further developments as they emerge.

The fate of Fitness First looks likely to be settled within weeks.
HAF,IND
THUMB13189_170132.jpg

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