Pure Gym’s takeover of LA fitness and its 42 gyms has been cleared by the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA), paving the way for a full integration of the health club giants.
The green light from the CMA comes just over a year after the same authority chose to further investigate Pure Gym’s proposed merger with budget rival The Gym Group,
leading to the deal being scrapped.
The full text of the CMA’s affirmative decision on the LA fitness merger is due to be published shortly. It is expected to indicate that the fact Pure Gym and LA fitness occupy different ends of the gym market, and in many cases different geographical locations, means the merger is unlikely to threaten market competitiveness.
Pure Gym CEO Humphrey Cobbold told Health Club Management in May that the chain intends to convert the majority of LA fitness sites into Pure Gym clubs
and a spokesperson confirmed this remains the case. It is believed that the overall investment from Pure Gym to convert and upgrade the LA fitness portfolio will total £20-30m.
“Our intention remains to convert the majority of LA fitness sites into Pure Gym gyms and work on this has already begun,” the spokesperson told Health Club Management
“We expect the conversion process to be complete by the summer of 2016 and look forward to welcoming many more members to our facilities.”
Pure Gym is widely expected to ‘trim the fat’ from LA fitness sites, removing swimming pools, streamlining services and reducing staffing levels as it brings in the largely self-service proposition that enables the chain to charge lower prices. Cobbold has also indicated that LA fitness CEO Martin Long and his team will likely step out of the business when the integration is complete.