Ashcombe Advisers acted as financial adviser to Virgin Group on the deal with CVC Capital Partners (“CVC”) which agreed to acquire a 51% interest in Virgin Active Group Limited. Virgin Active is the world’s leading health club operator with 254 clubs and 1.1 million members across the U.K., South Africa, Italy, Iberia and Australia. Founded in 1999, Virgin Active has reported 11 years of consecutive double digit revenue and profit growth, demonstrating the strength of its business model and strategy. For the year ended December 31st 2010, its revenues increased
14% to £445m and EBITDA rose 13% to £115m.
The partnership between CVC and Virgin will support Virgin Active’s growth in both existing and new geographies. As part of the agreement, Virgin Active will acquire the four Australian clubs currently owned by Virgin Group, to mark its first expansion into the Asia-Pacific region.
Simon Bullivant of Ashcombe Advisers has advised the Virgin group on its investment in Virgin Active since 2001. “We are pleased to have advised Virgin group throughout this process on what is one of its most important portfolio companies. This is a transaction which will benefit all parties involved, and will give Virgin Active the firepower to grow both in its existing markets and internationally across the globe.”
Stephen Murphy, CEO of Virgin Group commented: “Ashcombe Advisers has a deep knowledge of Virgin Active and also understood what was important to the Virgin group in this transaction. They were very instrumental in helping deliver an excellent outcome for us.”