Eversheds Sutherland advises Bridges-backed Viva Gym on its acquisition of Fitness Hut to create Iberian low-cost market leader
15 January 2018
Eversheds Sutherland has advised Viva Gym (Viva), a leading Spanish low-cost gym business, on its acquisition of Fitness Hut, the leading Portuguese low-cost gym business.
The deal was led by specialist sustainable and impact investor Bridges Fund Management (Bridges). It will create the biggest low-cost fitness group in the Iberian region, with 200,000 members across 48 sites, combined revenues of over €50m, and ambitious growth plans for the next few years.
The Eversheds Sutherland cross-border team was led by London Corporate Partner Louise Finnie with support from Associates Alex McCarney and Kathryn Dodds. Partner Patrick Davis and Associate Catherine Jones led on the financing aspects of the transaction, with Partner Ben Jones and Principal Associate Colin Askew providing tax structuring advice.
The UK team was supported by Partner Carlos Pemán and David Williams (of Counsel) who advised on the Spanish aspects of the deal, with Partner Pedro Guimaraes, and Lawyers João Osório Castro and Bruno Arez Martins from relationship firm FCB Sociedade de Advogados providing advice in Portugal. Clinton Calleja from relationship firm Guido DeMarco & Associates advised on the Maltese aspects of the transaction.
Louise Finnie said:
“We are delighted to have supported Bridges Fund Management on its continued investment in low cost gyms on the continent. This is an important and exciting chapter for Viva Gyms in its growth agenda and the combined business creates another ‘best in class’ operator within the European low-cost gym sector. We look forward to working with Bridges Fund Management and Viva Gyms again in the future.”
James Hurrell, Investment Director at Bridges, said:
“I would like to thank Louise and the team for bringing what was a very complex multi-jurisdictional transaction together with their wealth of experience. Having worked with Eversheds Sutherland for the last few years we are delighted with the advice and guidance that they have provided to us in getting this deal over the line. Given Bridges’ track record of improving accessibility to fitness and driving better health outcomes, we think that this transaction represents a great opportunity to create another ‘best in class’ operator within the European low-cost gym sector.”
Eversheds Sutherland advised Bridges when it acquired a majority stake in Viva in 2015 via its Sustainable Growth Fund III, investing alongside Magenta Partners (Magenta), the investment firm that founded Viva in 2011. The acquisition of Fitness Hut has been made possible by a further investment from Fund III and Magenta, plus additional co-investment from Hermes GPE, Ares Management and the two management teams.
For more information please contact Louise Finnie.