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400,000+ READERS leisure opportunities 13 MAY – 26 MAY 2014 ISSUE 632 Daily news & jobs: www.leisureopportunities.co.uk Virgin Active reportedly poised for £1bn offering


Virgin Active is lining up a poten- tial £1bn-plus float or sale, with the company close to appointing advis- ers on the process, according to reports in the national press. Te health club giant this week


announced a 10 per cent increase in underlying profits – it was also recently named Europe’s leading health club chain in terms of reve- nue – and is reportedly eager to cash in on its strong position. Virgin Active is believed to have


hired City IPO consultancy firm STJ Advisors to sound out interest from investment banks, according to The Times. It added that a pri- mary listing would likely be sought in London, with a secondary listing in South Africa, where it has more than 100 clubs. Te company is owned by Richard Branson’s


ambitions in the past and has come close to going public on several occa- sions. However, the newspaper article claims that the gym chain – which has 270 clubs worldwide – also remains open to a possible secondary private equity buyout or trade deal. In January, the company laid the


Virgin Active was founded by Richard Branson’s Virgin Group in 1999


Virgin Group and CVC Capital Partners – the private equity firm which owned a large stake in Merlin Entertainments when it successfully floated in November. CVC chose Goldman


Attractions Management to launch new title AM2


Liz Terry, CEO of Leisure Media – publisher of Attractions Management magazine – has announced the company is to launch a new global attractions industry magazine on 1 June. Te magazine will be a new addi-


tion to the company’s stable of 12 existing publications and will be designed to complement the Attractions Management quarterly. Called AM2, the new title will


be published 26 times a year, with Leisure Media’s head of news Jak Phillips serving as launch editor. Continued on the back cover


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Sachs, Barclays, Citi and Morgan Stanley to handle the Merlin IPO – which came with an attractive retail offer for small investors – and a potential Virgin Active float is also expected to include a some form of retail offer. Virgin Active has been open about its IPO


Trump buys golf course in Scotland


Donald Trump has made his latest foray into the British Isles’ golf resort market with the pur- chase of Turnberry in South Ayrshire, Scotland. The US property tycoon has acquired the


entire Turnberry estate – including its five star hotel boasting 145 guestrooms, four ocean-view suites and an ESPA spa, as well as three golf courses. Te complex is expected to continue to be managed by Starwood Hotels & Resorts. The sum Trump paid to previous owner


Leisurecorp remains undisclosed, but is thought to be significantly less than the £52m the Dubai- based property firm paid for the property in 2008, just prior to the financial crash. In a state- ment, Trump outlined high hopes for his latest


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groundwork for a long-term IPO plan, announcing a £100m three year investment across its UK sites to boost membership. At the time, Virgin Active UK managing director Matt Merrick confirmed the com- pany remained a “strong candidate” for a stock market listing, without setting out a timescale. Virgin Active has also been rumoured to be planning a


stronger push into the Asian markets – a strategy also announced by rivals Fitness First – following recent openings in Singapore and Bangkok. Virgin Active declined to comment when contacted by Leisure Opportunities. Details: http://lei.sr?a=A3M3q


Trump’s Scottish golf course success has been mixed


purchase, with plans for multi-million pound development to restore “luxury” to the hotel. “When completed, I believe that the Turnberry


Hotel will be the finest and most luxurious hotel in all of Europe.” Details: http://lei.sr?a=T2W2g


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