Pure Gym, Britain’s largest health and fitness club chain, is set to drop a £ 1.5 billion stock exchange listing amid growing signs of nervousness among investors.
Sky News has learned that Pure Gym, majority owned by private equity firm Leonard Green & Partners, may decide this week to suspend its initial public offering (IPO).
If confirmed, the move would underscore the unease that has gripped the London IPO market in recent weeks.
Marley, a tile maker, postponed its £ 500million listing earlier this week, citing market volatility, while Fruugo, an online marketplace, said last week it was ‘on hold’ a flutter.
Pure Gym has not officially announced an IPO, but said in August that it was considering one of the options to raise capital.
He appointed Morgan Stanley and Barclays to lead the listing, with Berenberg, Jefferies and the Royal Bank of Canada in supporting roles.
Sources in the city said an IPO has become the preferred option for the company, which trades from more than 500 locations across Europe, including more than 285 in the UK.
It was not clear whether Pure Gym would consider other options for raising capital if it withdraws its listing, or when an IPO might be relaunched.
Investors say the company likely would have sought to raise several hundred million pounds if the float had taken place.
The proceeds were to be used to speed up the opening of new gyms and pay off their massive debt.
The company is chaired by Tony Ball, the former boss of BSkyB, and headed by Managing Director Humphrey Cobbold.
“The pandemic has highlighted the vital assets of the community and we were delighted to welcome our members when we reopened,” Cobbold said in August.
He added that it was “natural” for the company to seek new funding.
Pure Gym has rebounded well from the initial shock of the pandemic, when the closure of its sites resulted in losses of £ 0.5million every day.
A spokesperson for Pure Gym declined to comment.