Virgin Active IPO: Gym chain set for public listing in South Africa

Caitlin Morrison
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The float will value the company at around £1.5bn (Source: Getty)
Gym chain Virgin Active has hired five banks in recent days to work on a public listing on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange.

Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, Standard Bank and UBS have been hired in recent days to work on the flotation which will value the company at around £1.5bn, according to Sky News. Insiders have said that BAML, Morgan Stanley and Standard Bank are expected to take the most senior roles in arranging the listing.

The timing of the listing has not been finalised, however the hiring of South Africa-headquartered Standard Bank has indicated that the company will float on the Johannesburg market.

Virgin Active is 51 per cent owned by private equity firm CVC Capital Partners and operates 263 clubs in nine countries.

Sir Richard Branson’s Virgin Group owns approximately 45 per cent of the business, which would mean that a £1.5bn price-tag would value the tycoon’s stake at as much as £600m.

In 2013 the company had 1.2m members and posted revenue of £653.1m.

Virgin Active and CVC declined to comment.

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