US Private Equity Firm Buys Iberian Powerhouse VivaGym

As Europe’s fitness market surges, Providence Equity Partners believes VivaGym has significant growth potential in Spain, Portugal and elsewhere

Rhode Island-based Providence Equity Partners is acquiring VivaGym Group, a budget-friendly Iberian gym operator with over 100 clubs and 315,000 members in Spain and Portugal.

The deal is expected to close before the end of the second quarter; financial terms weren’t disclosed.

VivaGym has expanded from 15 to 104 clubs after receiving an investment from Bridges Fund Management in 2015, which had previously launched The Gym Group, a fast-growing U.K.-based operator. With Bridges, VivaGym has expanded its footprint by acquiring Fitness Hut, Duet Fit and Happy Gym.

While VivaGym currently counts 315,000-plus members, the gym brand is aiming for 670,000 by 2025 and to operate 190 centers, eyeing Italy, Germany and the U.K. as areas for expansion, according to Iberian Lawyer, a monthly digital magazine. 

“Europe’s fitness industry is one we have studied closely for ten years, and we believe now is the right time to partner with a leader like VivaGym in this highly attractive market,” said Robert Sudo, managing director at Providence Equity Partners. “In our view, VivaGym is a classic Providence investment: a solid business model with loyal customers, engaged and talented employees and an established brand.”

Sudo added that the firm believes VivaGym has significant growth potential. The fitness brand has cultivated a loyal customer base for its contract-free offering, flexible hours and variety of class offerings.

VivaGym CEO Juan del Río Nieto noted that Bridges’ experience and industry knowledge transformed the gym brand into the powerhouse it is today.

“Bridges was also a hugely important partner in helping us manage and bounce back from the challenges of the COVID period, and we owe them much thanks for their support,” he said, adding that he’s excited to collaborate with Providence as the gym brand seeks to establish VivaGym as the Iberian fitness leader.

“We have the shared passion and vision to make health and fitness as accessible, affordable and fun as possible – giving us the confidence that Providence is the right partner as we enter this new chapter,” del Río Nieto said of the new investors.

The European fitness market has recovered well from the pandemic and is flashing massive growth potential. 

A recent report from EuropeActive shows that European health and fitness centers have not just topped pre-pandemic revenue and membership numbers, but set all-time records. With 100 million European gym members projected by 2030, the market is poised for significant expansion.

Health and fitness center revenue grew by 14% to €31.8 billion ($33.8 billion) in 2023, an all-time high, and there were 12 major mergers and acquisitions in the year, an indication that investors are bullish on the brick-and-mortar European fitness space.

The post US Private Equity Firm Buys Iberian Powerhouse VivaGym appeared first on Athletech News.


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