Virgin Active sells 35 UK fitness clubs to Nuffield

Wed, 15 Jun 2016 | DIVISION SALE

Virgin Active has slimmed down its portfolio of UK fitness clubs by selling 35 of its gyms to Nuffield Health in a deal thought to be worth around £80 million.

Loss-making Virgin Active had a portfolio of 96 fitness clubs across the UK before the sale went through in mid June 2016. The fitness group has said that the sale would sharpen its focus on upmarket facilities, which it brands as Collection clubs, as well as its large family-friendly clubs and tennis venues in the UK.

Virgin Active reported full-year losses of £87 million in its most recent financial statement, although this was closed slightly from £91 million the year before. There was a healthy 15 per cent jump in underlying earnings to £133.5 million, the company reported as the recent Nuffield Health deal was announced.

The sale is expected to be completed by the end of 2016, although which gyms have been earmarked for the switch has yet to be revealed. Nuffield Health, which is headquartered in Surrey, will see its roster of health and wellbeing gyms increase from 77 sites to 112. The organisation also operates 31 hospitals and around 200 corporate health and wellbeing units across the country.

Steve Gray, the chief executive of Nuffield Health, said: “This acquisition is a great move forward and allows us to increase the pace of delivery of our strategy and our charitable purpose, to help people achieve, maintain and recover to the level of health and wellbeing they aspire to.

“This acquisition will increase our reach in key sought-after locations and allow both members and non-members access to broader health and wellbeing services as well as proximity to Nuffield Health hospitals. I'm delighted to welcome new members and teams to the Nuffield Health family and firmly believe that they will benefit from our broader health and wellbeing model.”

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