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Nuffield Health completes purchase of 35 Virgin Active sites

Nuffield Health has become the UK’s second largest fitness provider after completing a deal to acquire 35 Virgin Active clubs.

The deal, believed to be worth around £80m, increases the number of clubs in the not-for-profit healthcare company’s portfolio to 112 – second only to budget operator Pure Gym and its 150 sites.

A multi-million investment programme will now begin to turn the sites into Nuffield Health Fitness & Wellbeing Centres.

Plans include enhancing current facilities with the addition of medical clinics within a number of the gyms, featuring services such as physiotherapy, in-depth health assessments, nutritional therapy and private GP appointments.

Once up and running, the services will be made available to both non-members and members.

All 2,300 Virgin Active employees from the 35 clubs have been transferred over to Nuffield Health today, along with 120,000 members.

Steve Gray, Nuffield Health CEO said: “This marks an exciting milestone in our 59 year history and represents a significant next step in our strategy to provide a connected health and wellbeing offering.

“We will now be able to deliver much broader services such as physiotherapy, health assessments and nutritional therapy all under one roof, as well as provide our standard services such as fitness classes, personal training and swimming lessons.

“We can also offer a helpful link to our 31 Nuffield Health hospitals, with pay-as-you go treatment for all, without waiting lists.”

Aided by £330m of debt facilities it secured in October 2014, Nuffield has been gradually expanding its portfolio in recent times and last year purchased two prime health clubs on the doorstep of the City of London.

New Nuffield Health CEO Steve Gray has set about merging the charity’s wellbeing and hospital divisions to deliver a fully-integrated healthcare strategy, and the latest acquisition will significantly bolster this ambition.

From a Virgin Active perspective, the sale marks a continuation of its repositioning strategy to focus on premium clubs in metropolitan areas. Since being acquired by new owners Brait in April 2015, the chain has set its sights on growth in the Asia Pacific region and has begun reorganising its 61 remaining UK facilities into three core proposition pillars: high-end Collection clubs, big family clubs and racquets clubs.

Part of the proceeds from today's sale will be used to increase investment in Virgin Active's ongoing UK portfolio upgrade programme, as well as to aid the launch of a new £6.5m Collection club in Mansion House later this year.

Virgin active  nuffield  fitness 
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14 Jun 2016

Exclusive: Nuffield Health acquires 35 Virgin Active sites

Nuffield Health has become the UK’s second largest fitness provider after completing a deal to acquire 35 Virgin Active clubs. The deal, believed to be worth around £80m, increases the number of clubs in the not-for-profit healthcare company’s portfolio to 112 – second only to budget operator Pure Gym and its 150 sites. A multi-million investment programme will now begin to turn the sites into Nuffield Health Fitness & Wellbeing
HAF
Nuffield’s green shield logo being installed at a Virgin Active club, signifying the beginning of the rebranding process
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The Leisure Media Company Ltd
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