__MAIN_TEXT__

Page 78

PROFILE

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?!

78

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.

Profile for Leisure Media

HCM November 2020  

HCM November 2020