South African investment house Brait SE (BATJ.J) is to pay 682 million pounds ($1 billion) for a controlling stake in gym group Virgin Active, Brait said on Thursday, seeking to tap the growing health-conscious middle classes particularly in Africa and Asia.
The fitness chain, jointly owned by the Virgin Group of entrepreneur Richard Branson and buyout firm CVC Capital Partners, has 267 gyms across nine countries including in South Africa, home to the largest number of Virgin Active clubs, Thailand and Britain.
Brait said it will buy an 80 percent stake in Virgin Active for 682 million pounds, valuing the gym chain at 1.3 billion pounds, including debt. The Virgin Group will retain a 20 percent stake.
Without debt, the transaction – the biggest in Africa so far this year, according to Thomson Reuters data – values Virgin Active at 870 million pounds.