Wednesday, February 18, 2009

énergie Group Acquires Eight Fitness First Clubs

“The énergie Group has finalised its acquisition of eight Fitness First Clubs and has embarked on its second franchise agreement with Qatar-based investment group Ghamin Bin Saad & Sons Holding Group (GSSG). GSSG purchased the eight clubs as part of the investment group's plans to grow its portfolio of énergie clubs both in the UK and the Middle East simultaneously. The firm plans to invest in 30 clubs in the UK. All eight clubs will undergo a rebranding, costing approximately £1m, over the next eight weeks, two of which will become women-only facilities in Northampton and Southampton. Others are located in Inverness and Dundee in Scotland, Rotherham, Milton Keynes, Swindon and Epson. The Milton Keynes site is the first facility that énergie has a 50 per cent stake in, as part of plans to make it its national training centre where it puts its franchisees through their paces. GSSG, which has net assets of more than 1.8bn Qatari riyals (£338m) and interests across the Middle East and Europe, has agreed a development pipeline that will see the two groups open a minimum of 50 clubs over the first five years of the partnership.The deal followed énergie’s acquisition in 2008 of 23 Motorcise Healthy Living Centres, as well as fitness franchise Attiva. It now has 80 clubs – mainly in the UK and Ireland, with two in Latvia – and 25 in the pipeline for 2009. In 2008, it opened one franchise site approximately every seven days, making it one of the fastest brands to expand. Last year, GSSG was granted a master franchise licence for six énergie brands across Qatar, Bahrain, Oman, United Arab Emirates, Egypt and Libya. GSSG is already a market leader in the Qatari fitness club sector, with four large sites in operation and two under construction."

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