February 11, 2014 / 8:51 AM / 4 years ago

British "no frills" gym groups to merge

LONDON, Feb 11 (Reuters) - British “no frills” gym operators Pure Gym and the Gym Group are to merge to capitalise on growing consumer demand for low-fee and flexible fitness-club membership, the companies said on Tuesday.

The two private-equity owned companies aim to offer affordable, contract-free memberships to their clubs, which mainly house cardio and strength equipment and hold group exercise classes.

Pure Gym operates 61, 24-hour centres across the UK, while the Gym Group has 42 sites. The merger will allow rapid expansion of their network of gyms, the companies said in a statement. Financial terms of the deal, which is awaiting regulatory approval, were not disclosed.

Pure Gym Chief Executive Peter Roberts will become executive chairman of the combined group and John Treharne, Gym Group chief executive, will be CEO.

Pure Gym was bought by New York-based CCMP Capital Advisors for an undisclosed amount last year. The Gym is owned by Phoenix Equity Partners and Bridges Ventures.

A number of private equity firms have made investments in the fitness industry in the last year.

In September TDR Capital agreed a 700 million pound ($1.2 billion) takeover of David Lloyd Leisure, one of Britain’s biggest health club chains. Two months later UK-listed 3i took a stake in European budget chain Basic-Fit for 110 million euros ($150.1 million).

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