This morning, I received confirmation that énergie fitness clubs has become the preferred bidder to acquire Jackie Skelly Fitness in Ireland. Jackie Skelly Fitness is one of Ireland’s leading fitness brands and operates 10 clubs. It seems the company has been struggling with a decline in membership sales, while facing significant rent increases on several of its clubs. The company did not see the expected January surge in new members, while several landlords had begun to lose patience over rent arrears.
In February 2010 the High Court appointed Kieran Wallace of KPMG as ‘examiner’ (examinership is akin to the administration process in the UK) to secure a buyer for the business. This process provides protection from creditors, and allows the clubs to continue trading while a buyer is found. KPMG received several expressions of interest, but has now entered into exclusive negotiations with énergie.
Jackie Skelly Fitness and the Web
I had a quick look to see what the web has been saying about Jackie Skelly Fitness and the online sentiment is very mixed, especially around previous sales practices. Some current members had sensed the company’s impending demise. Here is what one current member had to say:
“This seems to have been coming for a while. The New Year Newbie morning rush simply didn’t happen in January of last year and the mornings have been getting quieter ever since. They seemed to have cut back on staff and definitely haven’t been maintaining equipment (i.e. spending money) as they should have (posted by liamo 4th February 2010.”
énergie will continue with its due diligence and determine how many of the 10 clubs have a viable future. My current understanding is that up to nine of the clubs should remain open. On completion, énergie will then convert the clubs to one of its franchised formats.
About Jackie Skelly Fitness
Jackie Skelly and Mark Tooke, two well known fitness professionals founded the business in 1992. Presently, the business operates 10 clubs, has 18,000 members and employs 300 staff. Its first club opened in Dublin city centre in 1993. The company had revenues of €14.4 million (euros) for 2009. The company has debts of around €12 million (euros), with Bank of Ulster its largest creditor.