20 June 2016

Burges Salmon has advised Virgin Active on the sale of up to 35 gyms and health clubs to Nuffield Health.

The cross-firm team was led by lawyers from Burges Salmon’s corporate team and involved significant real estate, commercial and employment support.

The deal, for an undisclosed sum, will see Virgin Active retain 61 clubs across the UK to enable it to focus on its UK operations on London, the South East and other metropolitan areas. Its UK business will now be organised around three core propositions: high-end “Collection” clubs, big family clubs, and racquets clubs.

The proceeds of the sale will be directed to its club upgrade and club rollout programmes. As part of this, Virgin Active plans to upgrade a further 10 London clubs into its high-end ‘Collection’ group of clubs, adding to the 11 in the UK and 17 worldwide.

UK Legal Director at Virgin Active, James Archibald, said: “Burges Salmon helped us with a strategic disposal under time-pressure and came highly recommended by other Virgin companies. They provided us with pragmatic and straightforward advice and project management, and were a pleasure to deal with. They were always willing to pull out the stops when we needed them to in order to keep the transaction progressing to exchange."

Virgin Active now has 276 fitness clubs around the world, with 1.5 million members.

Burges Salmon partner commented: “We are pleased to have worked with Virgin Active to deliver this important strategic sale on a very compressed timetable. Having exchanged within three weeks of receiving the initial contracts, we are looking forward to helping Virgin Active reach a successful completion.”

Key contact

John Houlden

John Houlden Partner

  • Head of Public Sector
  • Head of Procurement and Subsidy Control
  • Projects

Subscribe to news and insight

Burges Salmon careers

We work hard to make sure Burges Salmon is a great place to work.
Find out more