Belfast Telegraph

Wednesday 16 April 2014

Americans weighing up bid for David Lloyd gym chain

The American owner of the Belfry golf course is reportedly circling the David Lloyd gym chain, thought to be worth around £900m.

KSL Capital Partners is one of several private equity firms considering making an offer for the chain of fitness clubs, the Sunday Times reported. KSL bought the Belfry in Warwickshire in early 2012, and last month snapped up the Malmaison and Hotel du Vin boutique hotel brands. Hatfield-based David Lloyd Leisure, which has 80 clubs across the UK, is controlled by property group London & Regional and private equity firm Caird Capital.

Blackstone, a US investment house, is also said to be mulling a bid.

The fitness chain is named after former English tennis professional David Lloyd, who founded the business in 1980.

David Lloyd has a focus on racquet sports, with around 700 tennis courts, 180 badminton courts and 140 squash courts across its UK sites. It has about 440,000 members and employs 6,000 staff.

Despite the economic downturn, which has squeezed gym chains, the report said David Lloyd is "trading well", increasing its appeal to potential bidders.

London & Regional and KSL Capital could not be reached for comment.