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30 LA Fitness Sites in the UK to Change Hands

CEO Martin LongMike Ashley, the founder of Sports Direct International, a British sports retailing chain, and the owner of the Newcastle United Football Club, has set his sights on the U.K. fitness industry. Recently, he’s been engaged in the process of acquiring the leases on some 30 LA Fitness facilities, which had been put up for sale as part of a corporate restructuring.

LA Fitness, which has been owned since 2005 by Mid Ocean Partners, a private-equity firm, has faced fierce competition from a growing number of lower-priced competitors, and had been obliged to enter into company voluntary agreements with its landlords, allowing the company to revise the terms of its club leases.

Pending the purchase by Ashley, LA Fitness, based in Kirk Sandall Doncaster, South Yorkshire, operated 80 fitness facilities in the U.K. and Ireland.

(LA Fitness is not to be confused with LA Fitness International, LLC, a major U.S. club chain.)

“We’re now able to focus on the long- term future of LA Fitness,” CEO Martin Long observed earlier this year. “We’re creating a leaner, more operationally efficient business with the financial strength and operational flexibility to continue investing in facilities, equipment, and technology across our retained port- folio of clubs to enhance the experience for our members.”

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