Gym chain is trying to stay fit to keep going

Here are roadworks scheduled for trunk roads this week

Here’s where to expect delays on the roads in the coming week

Have your say

FITNESS First has taken steps to avoid going into administration.

The struggling gym company, which has gyms in Waterlooville and Southsea, has proposed a company voluntary arrangement which will involve a renegotiation of the terms of its property portfolio and a £100m loan injection.

But it has to be approved by the firm’s creditors first.

Fitness First has about 140 gyms and is struggling to keep up rental payments after a fall in membership revenues.

Two of Fitness First’s biggest lenders, Oaktree Capital and Marathon, have already agreed to write off more than £560m of debt in return for an undisclosed equity stake in the company.

According to KPMG, which administering the firm, a CVA must offer a better return to creditors than an administration and cannot simply be used to escape onerous leases.

Richard Fleming, KPMG’s UK head of restructuring, said: ‘In the case of Fitness First, we estimate that the return to compromised landlords to be within a range of 23-28p in the £1 versus less than 0.5p in the £1 in administration.’

Under the terms of the CVA, all Fitness First currently-trading gyms will remain open, but 67 will be offloaded to new operators within the next six months.

Fitness First is owned by private equity firm BC Partners.