Pure Gym blames '˜market volatility' as flotation plans abandoned

Fitness chain Pure Gym has scrapped plans for a stock market flotation, citing 'market volatility'.

Tuesday, 11th October 2016, 8:19 am
Updated Tuesday, 25th October 2016, 5:16 pm
Pure Gym has abandoned plans for a flotation

The group 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, the Leeds-based firm’s 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.”

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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”.

Pure Gym was founded in 2008 and now has 169 gyms and 820,000 members nationwide, boosted by the takeover last year of rival LA Fitness.

The group 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.