Gym Group IPO: Fitness chain warms up ahead of a £300m London market listing

 
Kasmira Jefford
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Low-cost chains such as Gym Group have challenged traditional players by scrapping contracts
The owners of low-cost fitness chain Gym Group are eyeing a £300m float on the London stock market just over a year after abandoning plans to merge with rival Pure Gym.

Phoenix Equity Partners, which bought controlling stake in the business in 2013, is understood to have held talks with bankers regarding a potential market debut.

Discussions are still at a very early stage. However, the company could pursue a listing as soon as this Autumn, sources told City A.M.. The business is expected to be valued at over £300m.

Gym Group was founded in 2008 by former England squash player John Treharne, with the backing of private equity group Bridges Ventures.

In 2013, the chain underwent a refinancing that saw Phoenix Equity Partners take a majority stake. The management team, including Treharne, has a 24 per cent holding while Bridges Ventures holds a similar-sized stake.

Last year, it was forced to abandon plans for a £300m tie-up with Pure Gym after competition regulators wanted to pursue a more detailed investigation into the deal.

The chain has more than 50,000 members who pay as little as £10.99 a month. It plans to grow from 60 to 80 sites across the UK this year.

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