Clearwater International advises Fitness Hut on its cross-border sale to Bridges-backed Viva Gym, to create the leading Iberian gym group

Clearwater International has advised Portugal-based gym group Fitness Hut, on its sale to Spain-based gym group Viva Gym, backed by private equity firm Bridges Fund Management (Bridges). This will create the leading low-cost fitness group in the Iberian region, with nearly 200,000 members, combined revenues of over €50m, and outstanding prospects for further growth.

As Portugal’s leading premium low-cost gym operator, with 31 clubs, Fitness Hut offers its 110,000 members access to high quality facilities, nutritional services and over 3,300 fitness classes per week.

Viva Gym is a high-quality, low-cost Spanish gym group, founded in 2011 by private equity firm Magenta Partners. Bridges acquired a majority stake in Viva Gym in 2015. Bridges has a wealth of experience in this sector, having originally launched The Gym Group, which pioneered the concept in the UK, and more recently invested in both Viva Gym and Impact Fitness.

The acquisition of Fitness Hut has been made possible by a further investment by Bridges, plus additional co-investment from Magenta Partners, Hermes GPE and the management teams of the two businesses. Fitness Hut’s founding investor Edge Capital and subsequent investor Oxy Capital will exit as part of the deal.

The health and fitness sector continues to thrive in both Spain and Portugal, and the low-cost segment is the fastest-growing part of those markets. The combined group – which will be led by Viva CEO Juan del Río Nieto, and will continue to operate under two separate brands – will initially have 48 sites, making it the largest low-cost group in the region.