Pure Gym blames volatile markets for pulled float plans

Pure Gym insisted trading was 'strong' as it cancelled plans to float. Picture: Contributed
Pure Gym insisted trading was 'strong' as it cancelled plans to float. Picture: Contributed
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Fitness chain Pure Gym has scrapped plans for a stock market flotation, citing “market volatility”.

The group – which counts Scottish track cycling legend Sir Chris Hoy among its investors – had aimed to raise £190 million from its initial public offering (IPO), announced less than a month ago, to help fund ambitious expansion plans.

But today chief executive Humphrey Cobbold said: “Given the challenging IPO market conditions, the board has decided not to proceed with a listing despite the strong interest shown by potential investors.

“Current trading is strong, giving us further confidence that we can capitalise on the significant market opportunity.”

READ MORE: Pure Gym flexes muscles with plans for flotation

Pure Gym added that pursuing a listing “in this period of market volatility is not in the long-term interests of the company and its stakeholders”.

The group was founded in 2008 and now has 169 gyms and 820,000 members nationwide, boosted by the takeover last year of rival LA Fitness. It has previously signalled that it wants to roll out its affordable and flexible gym membership model further across the UK, while also looking at other areas of the fitness market and possible acquisitions.

UK stock market listings had been expected to bounce back following a post-Brexit vote slump, with the likes of Hollywood Bowl and Biffa pushing the button on IPOs.

But the collapse in sterling and growing uncertainty about Britain’s relationship with the European Union, triggered in part by proclamations at the Conservative Party conference, have dampened confidence.

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