Jan Spaticchia The chair of énergie and vice chair of BMF talks to Kate Cracknell about creating an omnichannel approach that brings together indoor, outdoor, online and VR
PHOTO: ENERGIE FITNESS
First things first Jan, didn’t you retire last year?!
We haven’t applied a blanket freeze to membership during lockdown 2, instead we’ve challenged our members to use the time to achieve a specific health and fitness goal November 2020 ©Cybertrek 2020
After we sold énergie, on 1 August 2019, I still sat on the board as a non-exec, founder director. However, I’d very much handed the business over to Bridges Fund Management and was really only there for a transition period. If anyone had told me at that point that less than a year later I’d be buying the business back again, I would certainly have had big questions for them! I truly believed Bridges was the right investor, selected for all the right reasons and with a great fitness pedigree and while the selling price was important, I saw picking the right buyer as equally so. But ultimately, who could have predicted the events of 2020? Long story short, it was clear that COVID was going to punch a hole in revenues and that the business would need new funding. All parties were willing to invest – Bridges, the bank, myself – but the terms of a deal between Bridges and the bank – RM Funds – could not be agreed. In the end, RM Funds asked me if I would be prepared to lead a management buyout if it provided part of the funding, so I worked with the bank to bring together a small consortium – including some previous shareholders – and, in June of this year, we completed an MBO. I’m pleased we did. The énergie business is still my baby – started from my living room in 2003. I couldn’t just sit back and watch it run into difficulties. Buying it back felt like coming home.