Sports Direct considers buying LA Fitness gyms

Sat, 17 May 2014 | BUSINESS NEWS

Sports Direct is considering moving into the fitness market as its owner Mike Ashley is weighing up buying around 30 of LA Fitness' gyms.

We reported in March that the gym chain LA Fitness was considering selling almost all of its premises in a bid to secure its long-term future in a competitive marketplace. News this week has suggested that Sports Direct could step in to buy the fitness centres as it ponders branching out into the lucrative health and leisure sector.

A spokeswoman for LA Fitness confirmed the claims, but only went as far as to say: "We've been in discussions with lots of people and Sports Direct are one of them." It is unclear how Sports Direct, which has over 600 sports stores across Europe including 400 in the UK, is yet to comment on proceedings.

If the deal does go ahead as expected it is unclear how the gyms will be branded – whether as part of Sports Direct or as a separate entity.

Mike Ashley has already been in the news this year for making bold acquisitions; he snapped up a stake in Debenhams, which he sold and swapped for an option over a larger share within days of the buy, and an 11 per cent stake in House of Fraser.

Related information:
LA Fitness to sell almost half its gyms
Business acquisition funding

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