U.K.’s Biggest Gym Chain Mulls IPO

    • PureGym, the largest gym chain in the U.K., is considering an IPO as it seeks to expand following post-pandemic reopenings.
    • The company considered the same move in 2016, but backed off due to weak investor demand.

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Gyms are open again, and the United Kingdom’s largest chain is ready to expand with help from the public market.

PureGym — with more than 1 million members registered — is considering an IPO: A listing on the London Stock Exchange could come as soon as this year.

All of its 506 gyms, spread across the U.K., Switzerland, and Denmark, are now open. The company opened 15 new locations in the first half of 2021 and wants to accelerate expansion next year, particularly in the U.K. and Switzerland.

  • PureGym was bought by California-based private equity firm Leonard Green & Partners in a deal valuing it at $823 million in 2017. The firm boosted the gym chain with a $137 million cash injection in Sept. 2020, alongside a $68.5 million increase in PureGym’s credit facility.
  • The company told investors that it lost $126.2 million in the first half of this year. It carried $1.1 billion in net debt at the end of Q2.
  • However, it had a profitable second quarter, with an adjusted EBITDA of $22 million. June revenues were up 99% from those of June 2019, as a slightly reduced membership was offset by price increases.

PureGym had planned to raise $260.6 million through an IPO in 2016 but scuttled those plans due to insufficient investor demand.

Now the company sees a strong market for its affordable gyms, noting the market can “support growth in these conditions as consumers consider cost-conscious alternatives.”