Dubai-based fitness club group GymNation sold to UK gyms JD Sports

GymNation, the largest group of fitness clubs in the United Arab Emirates, has been sold to UK-based JD Sports Gyms, part of FTSE 100 giant JD Sports.

Founded in 2018, GymNation quickly grew from an entrepreneurial start-up to the UAE’s leading gym operator with seven facilities in Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Ras Al Khaimah and over 40,000 members.

The sale by Dubai-based Select Investments, a unit of Select Group, highlights an investment strategy that is “focused on identifying high-potential businesses, creating value by positioning the portfolio company to the next stage of growth and maximizing returns for stakeholders”.

Commenting on the acquisition of the fast-growing fitness brand, Alun Peacock, Managing Director of JD Gyms, said, “We are extremely pleased to have acquired GymNation and to be associated with the management team.

“The acquisition will allow the three founders – Loren, Frank and Ant – to continue to run day-to-day business operations and retain a significant minority stake.

“GymNation is a very successful business with an excellent offering, which complements that of JD Gyms in the UK. We look forward to working with the management team to launch the next stage of growth in the United Arab Emirates, alongside other exciting opportunities in the wider (Persian Gulf) region.”

Loren Holland, Founder and CEO of GymNation, added, “We look forward to continuing to improve people’s health and wellbeing in line with the UAE’s quest to become the ‘most active city in the world’. , and having a supporting partner such as JD Gyms will be a huge advantage.

“We believe that the acquisition of GymNation, a local UAE start-up, by one of the leading international gym operators who are themselves part of a FTSE 100 PLC group, is an entrepreneurial and positive achievement. ‘investment.”

JD Sports Gyms has had an interest in the Persian Gulf and Asian markets for some time and was reported in 2016 to have been interested in acquiring the Asian assets of Fitness First before they were sold to the group that became Evolution Wellness.

Images courtesy of GymNation.

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