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Budget chains end proposed merger plans By Christina Eccles BUDGET operators Pure Gym and The Gym Group have terminated their merger plan after the Competition and Markets Authority referred the transaction for in-depth investigation. In June, the CMA completed a detailed first phase inquiry into the merger and then initiated an in-depth phase two investigation, which was unlikely to be completed until early 2015. The two companies agreed to halt merger talks after concluding that a protracted phase two investigation would have a detrimental effect on both businesses. Chief executive at Pure Gym Peter Roberts said: “We remain convinced of the merits of our proposed transaction, which would have made affordable gyms more widely available. “But regulatory delays have created uncertainty that is detrimental for customers, employees and management. We have therefore decided to remain independent companies, pursuing separate, vigorous growth strategies.” The two companies will continue to operate under their current ownership structures. Pure Gym is owned by CCMP Capital Advisors, LLC, while The
Gym Group is jointly controlled by Phoenix Equity Partners and Bridges Ventures. Chief executive of The Gym Group John Treharne added: “As standalone gym-operators, we will continue to provide outstanding value to members, great facilities and excellent career opportunities for staff. Although our merger promised to build on those strong foundations, we have taken the prudent decision to terminate discussions given the lack of clarity on a timetable to completion.” In a joint statement, Tom Walker, UK managing director of CCMP Capital Advisors (UK) II Limited, and David Burns, managing partner at Phoenix Equity Partners, added: “We are surprised that the CMA has concluded that a combination of two young businesses with a combined total of 110 gyms nationwide created a risk of a substantial lessening of competition. “These two gym groups created the model that enable significant numbers of first-time users to access 24-hour, no contract health and fitness clubs at affordable prices. “Looking to the future, both companies will now focus on the great opportunities that lie ahead.”
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Supplement warning is issued after investigation
Members at a Telford gym got the chance to work out alongside a Formula One racing driver at the official launch of its new fitness suite. As part of a £100,000 makeover, the Revive fitness suite at the Holiday Inn has been completely refurbished, including the introduction of several Matrix Fitness products not currently available in any other facility in the area. The kit was put through its paces at the opening ceremony by test and development driver for the Lotus F1 team and Matrix Fitness ambassador Marco Sørensen (pictured).
REGULATORY Services officers at Barnsley Council have issued a warning to people who use pre-workout supplements, following a recent investigation. Officers took samples of preworkout supplements, which claimed to improve performance and burn fat, from gyms around the borough. Analytical testing of the products found one of the supplements, Muscle Junkie Psycho Pre-workout, to contain DMAA – a stimulant for which safe levels for human consumption have not been established. Adverse reactions to the substance have been reported around the world and products containing DMAA have been withdrawn across the European Union. Regulatory Services officers have worked closely with the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency to ensure the product has been removed from sale nationally, also advising consumers to check packaging and not buy products containing DMAA. Spokesman councillor Roy Miller added: “Officers will carry out further testing on similar products in the coming months to ensure that the products on the market are safe.”