Opcapita, the buyout vehicle behind the failed turnaround of electrical retailer Comet, is in early stage talks to buy the UK operations of global gym chain Fitness First.
Opcapita, headed by former banker Henry Jackson, plans to grow the gym's number of locations around the UK if the bid is successful, City A.M. understands.
The acquisition vehicle is also understood to be looking into a second fund raising, two years after it built up a warchest of almost £100m.
Opcapita, which traditionally raised cash on a deal-by-deal basis, raised €110m (£83m) in late 2014 for its first private equity fund.
The raising garnered the attention of some of the world's biggest global institutional investors.
Opcapita attracted criticism after the collapse of retailer Comet cost the taxpayer tens of millions of pounds in 2012 and resulted in thousands of job losses.
A public inquiry launched by the business secretary Vince Cable did not take any action against the group.
The firm has since built up stakes in French home equipment retailer, BUT, and Spanish frozen food chain La Sirena.
Opcapita also picked up accolades and a number of industry awards for the turnaround of Game Group in the UK.
Fitness First was acquired by Oaktree Capital Management in 2012 for a £550m debt-for-equity swap and has more than 370 clubs and around one million members globally. The UK arm sports 78 locations with over 171,000 members.
Several other unidentified parties are preparing bids for Fitness First UK, it was first reported by Sky News.