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Reuters: TDR Capital Buys David Lloyd Leisure

(Reuters) – David Lloyd Leisure (DLL), one of Britain’s biggest health club chains, has agreed a takeover deal with private equity group TDR Capital worth more than 700 million pounds ($1.09 billion).

TDR, which backs restaurant chain Pizza Express and holiday operator Center Parcs UK, paid in the low 700 millions for tennis-focused DLL, two sources familiar with the matter said.

DLL and TDR did not disclose the financial terms of the sale.

The deal provides more evidence of increased interest from private equity firms in the fitness industry. New York-based firm CCMP Capital Advisors said in April it is buying British discount gym operator Pure Gym.

In June, Phoenix Equity Partners joined Bridges Ventures to provide a further 50 million pounds of equity in The Gym, which operates no-frills fitness chain The Gym Group.

David Lloyd Leisure and TDR have discussed making a 50 million pound investment into the chain to add to its existing 81 UK sites and continue its expansion in Europe, DLL said in a statement.

“With the support of TDR we are confident we will be able to deliver our future growth ambitions,” Scott Lloyd, DLL chief executive and son of founder and former British Davis Cup captain David Lloyd, said in the statement.

DLL, founded in 1980, has been growing rapidly. It opened a state-of-the-art flagship club in 2011 and launched high street, pay-as-you-go fitness brand DL Studios last year. It has more than 440,000 members.

It reported a 4 percent growth in membership sales and 5 percent fewer cancelled memberships so far this year.

DLL was advised by UBS.