Fitness First

Health and fitness clubs
Jun 2003
Nov 2005

This €580 million public to private transaction was completed in June 2003. Fitness First is the largest health club operator in the world with over one million members and over 400 clubs in 15 countries.

The company operates high quality, affordable health clubs in convenient locations and is the market leader in the UK, Benelux, Germany, Asia and Australia.

Cinven’s strategy was to optimise performance of the existing club portfolio whilst undertaking a controlled expansion programme in fast growing, high return, markets.

Strategy focused on management change and strategic redirection to drive operational and financial improvement, whilst also optimising the balance sheet structure.

Fitness First continued to roll out its successful, affordable health club model across a number of its existing jurisdictions financed out of internally generated cash flows.

As a result of these initiatives, by 2005 Fitness First achieved an EBITDA increase of 85% compared to 2002. Furthermore, as a consequence of geographical diversification, the company generated circa two thirds of its profits from non-UK operations (40% at the time of acquisition).

Fitness First was sold in November 2005 achieving a multiple of 3.4 times our investment.