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Browne Jacobson advises on PureGym’s proposed acquisition of Fitness World

16 December 2019

Browne Jacobson has advised PureGym, the UK's leading low cost gym operator, on its proposed acquisition of Fitness World, Denmark’s leading low cost gym operator for an undisclosed consideration.

The deal, which is expected to complete in early 2020, will create Europe’s second largest gym and fitness operator with approximately 500 facilities across the UK, Denmark, Switzerland and Poland, serving 1.7m members. The Browne Jacobson team was led by corporate partners Mark Hughes and Gareth Davies, Sandra Wong, Bethany Pickup (corporate), Sarah Parkinson and Claire Burns (real estate) and Beth Dowson (tax).

Established in 2009 by Peter Roberts, PureGym was acquired by US private equity house CCMP in 2013. It went on to acquire LA Fitness in 2015 adding 43 clubs to its portfolio. PureGym was acquired for £640m by US private equity firm Leonard Green & Partners from CCMP Capital in 2017 and currently operates 253 gyms with more than one million members. Its brand ambassadors include six-time Olympic champion, Sir Chris Hoy, and British world champion sprinter Dina Asher-Smith.

Founded in 2005 Fitness World is headquartered in Rødovre, Denmark. Fitness World operates more than 230 fitness centres in Denmark, Switzerland and Poland, serving over 600,000 members.

Humphrey Cobbold, Chief Executive Officer of PureGym, said: “This transaction brings together two well matched, successful market-leading businesses and the combination creates a powerful platform from which to accelerate growth and deliver on our purpose of getting even more people, more active, more often.

“The acquisition of Fitness World is a transformational deal for PureGym and will support our long-held ambition to become a leading international gym and fitness operator.

“Fitness World is a business we know well and have long admired. The team there have done an outstanding job in building unparalleled leadership in the highly attractive Danish market with exciting growth positions in Switzerland and Poland.

“My management team and I are genuinely excited to welcome Steen and all his colleagues in Denmark, Switzerland and Poland to our ‘fitness family’. We firmly believe that there is a great future ahead for all of us."

Mark Hughes, corporate finance partner at Browne Jacobson, added:

“We are delighted to have advised PureGym on the acquisition. This deal provides PureGym scale outside of the UK and expands its geographical footprint. PureGym has achieved outstanding growth over many years both organically and through a series of strategic acquisitions.”

Browne Jacobson is ranked by Experian as one of the country’s leading corporate finance teams with over 30 corporate and banking & finance lawyers delivering corporate and banking transactions across the wide range of services for domestic and international clients including, amongst others, FTSE 100 companies, private equity investors and the UKs leading banking institutions.

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