Dave Whelan Sports Limited (“DW Sports”) operates several large, wet-led gym sites and retail stores throughout the UK. The business is part of a wider group that also operates under the Fitness First brand.
With all memberships frozen and retail stores closed down during the Government imposed lockdown during the COVID-19 pandemic, cash flows were impacted, limiting the group’s ability to meet their debt repayment obligations. The decision was made to put DW Sports into administration with BDO appointed as administrators.
BDO’s Special Situations M&A Team was engaged to explore a potential transaction for the open gym sites. BDO ran an accelerated transaction, approaching a range of financial and strategic trade acquirers, providing the administrators with several high-value competing offers.
Following a highly competitive process, a transaction was deliver to a trade party, Frasers Group. The acquired sites will be operated under the group’s existing Everlast brand. As well as purchasing the open gym sites, the acquirer purchased a number of closed gym sites and all retail operations. This resulted in a full repayment to DW Sports’ lenders and a partial repayment to creditors, exceeding the administrators’ expectations for the transaction.