Pure Gym reported to have appointed an investment bank

Budget Gym operator, Pure Gym, the Leeds-based operator that helped revolutionise gym memberships, is reported to have appointed an investment bank, giving rise to speculation of an IPO.

The gym chain, which has grown to be one of the biggest in Britain, was founded by leisure entrepreneur Peter Roberts, opening in Leeds back in 2009 and provided a completely different experience for members, offering 24 hours a day access and no need for the usual 12 month membership.

The company expanded rapidly and in 2013, private equity group CCMP, became the majority shareholder in a deal worth £118m, following which a further 43 gyms were added to the chain with the the purchase of rival LA Fitness for an estimated £70m.

Prior to setting up PureGym, Peter Roberts had an impressive career history included forming the Langdale Group PLC and becoming a partner at Countrywide Leisure Management, a business that identified and developed unquoted leisure investments for both high net worth individuals and institutional investors.

Peter started Lazards Leisure Venture Capital Fund in 1985, and bought Dragons Health Club to the Fund, acting as Non Executive Director for the company for seven years. In that time he oversaw its sale to Crown Sports, and was also involved in several other successful buyouts and flotations for companies such as Luminar PLC and Country Style Inns.

Humphrey Cobbold, CEO, also has extensive experience in a number of business areas.  Management Consultancy at Mckinsey & Company, private equity at Candover, Director of Strategic Development at Trinity Mirror and CEO of Wiggle where he launched the international business across Europe and further afield in countries including Japan, Australia, USA, and China.