Clearwater International advises Gymbox on €12.6m investment from BGF


Clearwater International has completed its maiden deal since its merger, advising boutique gym chain Gymbox on its €12.6m investment of growth capital from BGF.

Gymbox currently has five clubs across London and will use BGF’s capital to continue its site roll-out across the capital, with three additional sites already secured. Beyond these, the company now has the funding in place to open several further gyms in London and in other UK cities.

Gymbox, recently voted by Cool Brands Expert Council as a leading UK brand, has become an essential place for fitness-savvy Londoners by combining vibrant interior design with its unique take on exercise.

Founded in 2001 by Richard Hilton, Gymbox opened its first gym in Holborn in September 2003 and today has clubs in Farringdon, Covent Garden, Bank and Westfield. The company is expected to turn over £10m, with an EBITDA of £3.5m in the year ending October 2014, and currently has 13,400 members.

Gymbox represents BGF’s second investment in the UK fitness market having backed low-cost gym group Xercise4Less in August 2013, which now has 23 gyms nationwide.

Clearwater International partner Marcus Archer advised Gymbox founder Richard Hilton on the transaction.

Marcus Archer, head of Business Services at Clearwater International, commented: “Richard has built up an extremely successful niche gym brand, operating across central London. As consumer spending increases, this is a fantastic opportunity for the business, with BGF alongside as a partner, to build on the strong platform and accelerate the roll-out of Gymbox.”

Richard Hilton, Managing Director of Gymbox, said: “This is an exciting announcement for us and we are delighted to be working with BGF as we look to the next stage of our growth. The Gymbox brand has gone from strength to strength in recent years based on our contemporary club designs, exciting and original classes and our ability to offer customers new and unique ways of keeping fit. We look forward to opening new sites this year and next and introducing the Gymbox concept to a wider audience in London and other UK cities.”

Alistair Brew, Investment Director for BGF, commented: “We saw this as a fantastic opportunity to back an ambitious and proven management team in the roll-out of a successful and differentiated gym business which has had impressive success to date. Richard is a driven and committed entrepreneur whose track record of site selection, which is key in roll-out programmes of any nature, has been outstanding. The business has consistently hit its financial targets and we are delighted to be partnering at this stage of Gymbox’s exciting development.”