Basic-Fit has launched a new share issue as it restarts its growth plans for the European fitness market.
The Netherlands-based budget chain is using an accelerated bookbuild offering to issue up to 5.33 million new ordinary shares in the business.
At its current share price of €25 (9 June 2020), this will amount to a raise of around €135m – or 9.8 per cent of market cap, valuing the company at around €1.334bn (marketing capitalisation).
Basic-Fit is looking to use the proceeds from the new shares to strengthen its balance sheet and to provide it with the financial flexibility to allow both organic growth (the opening of new clubs) and acquisitions.
CEO Rene Moos, who currently owns 16 per cent of the company, has committed to subscribing to €5m worth of the new shares, diluting his stake to 15.2 per cent.
According to one analyst, the move is seen as “unquestionably reassuring” for the company which – with 828 clubs and more than 2.3 million members – is already the largest fitness operator in Europe.
“Of significance is the rationale of returning to the strategy of opening new clubs and acquisitions, which comes with risk – but implies confidence in the membership development environment on re-openings as seen so far in France (new joiners outstripping leavers in France),” the analyst said.
“It also offers opportunities to take significant market share where direct or indirect peers have struggled during the COVID-19 lockdown.”
In late 2019, Basic-Fit announced it planned to accelerate the pace of organic club openings from a previous target of 125 to around 150 clubs a year for 2020.
With the new target, the company said expects the number of clubs in its portfolio to reach 1,250 in 2022.
The chain added 155 new clubs to its portfolio during 2019.
Earlier this week, Basic-Fit continued its reopening programme across Europe – on 8 June it opened doors to its clubs in Spain and Belgium.
• To read an article Rene Moos speaking at the recent Virtuagym FitNation event, click here.
• Read out interview with Tom Moos, son of Rene in HCM here