Mike Ashley rumoured to be close to LA Fitness deal

Harriet Green
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Sports Direct founder Mike Ashley has moved to take on around 30 LA fitness sites, Sky News' City editor, Mark Kleinman, reports.

The exuberant billionaire has agreed to offer a parent company guarantee to LA Fitness landlords regarding leases on the gyms, according to sources. One did say, however, that, despite a deal being imminent, things could still come to nothing.

33 of the group’s 80 country-wide sites were put up for sale in March. The drastic move part of an overhaul of its struggling group’s finances; it’s trying to reduce its debt burden by around £250m.

The transaction would give Ashley, who also owns Newcastle United FC, his break into the fitness market. The sources said that if the deal was successful, it’d likely see him go after an aggressive expansion via other acquisitions.

A deal could be announced within days, although Sports Direct may decide not to make a public statement.

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