The Esporta sale is off…for now

>The Esporta health club business has been up for sale for some time now, since its parent company went into administration. Today, I was hoping to announce the name of the new buyer, but for now, the sale is off.

Grant Thornton, the administrators for Bell Leisure (Esporta’s holding company) has gone to the high court to request an extension to the administration until August 2009. Grant Thornton won’t be too worried as they are being paid £331 an hour or £2,648 each day to operate the business until a buyer is found.

The challenge in pushing the sale through seems to be in securing a buyer for Esporta’s non-racquet’s clubs (those without squash and tennis), given that David Lloyd is probably in pole position to acquire the 21 clubs with tennis. That just leaves the small matter of off-loading the other 34 clubs. That is a big ask as consumers begin to review their leisure spending and ask the question: ‘Am I getting good value from my gym membership?.

The CEO focus

So for now, Glenn Timms, The Esporta CEO and his team will be thinking about ways to re-focus and re-energise employees as the issue of ownership is set-aside, at least for a few more months.

More news soon.

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