Fitness club firm may seek flotation

BRITISH fitness club chain Next Generation, whose shareholders include Dermot Desmond, John Magnier and former Kerry Group chairman Denis Brosnan, are believed to be eyeing up a stock market flotation.

The trio are major shareholders in Next Generation, a 13-strong chain of gyms run by the former British Davis Cup captain David Lloyd.

Next Generation is reportedly seeking a listing on the London Stock Exchange to raise money to fund its expansion in Britain and Australia.

Scott Lloyd, the son of founder David, said that now was the right time for a listing after several years building up the business.

He told Leisure Report, an industry publication: “we are looking at how we can step up a gear and will be having discussions during the course of the year to look at all strategic options. However, we have put in five or six years hard work and are now in a position where we want to build on that, so a flotation is a likely option.”

Though Mr Lloyd favours a listing, his father is reportedly keener on a trade sale.

According to accounts for Next Generation Clubs Limited, filed just before Christmas at the Companies’ Office in London, it is growing rapidly. Turnover was up by £8 million to just over £20 million for the 12 months to the end of December 2002, the latest set of accounts. The company had operating profits of £2.8 million, while nearly 600 people were employed.

Next Generation said it is planning to open seven more clubs in Britain in addition to two clubs that will open next year as part of a £38 million expansion.

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