Exclusive Paris clubs owners and hotel group circle CMG

16 Apr 2019

The fitness club market in Paris could undergo a major facelift, since it was confirmed this week that the owners of three upmarket clubs in the French capital are holding advanced talks for a takeover of CMG Sports Club

The prospective buyer is the Ken Group, a company belonging to Arthur and Franck-Elie Benzaquen, the two brothers behind the Ken, Klay and Blanche clubs. It confirmed the exclusive talks and added that it was “accompanied by the Accor group,” a large-scale French hospitality group.

It appears that there is broad agreement on the offer. CMG Sports Club said it covered its 21 remaining clubs in and around Paris, with an interesting project that was positively received by employees.

The majority owner since June 2016 is LFPI, an investment fund that was previously involved in CMG as a lender. Another 18% is in the hands of Club Med, the tourism company that gave its name to the former Club Med Gym.

The results at CMG Sports Club deteriorated steadily in the last years, under attack from cheaper and snazzier rivals. It was hurt by the expansion of operators such as Les Cercles de la Forme, Fitness Park and Neoness.

But Michel Rességuier, chief executive at CMG Sports Club, said this week that its performance started to improve again. He was appointed last year from Prospheres, a French turnaround and restructuring firm. His strategy was to elevate the customer proposition, with a focus on service, which led to an increase in prices and the divestment of two clubs.

Read the full story in FNE#78, updates coming up.

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