Bridges Ventures awarded “Venture Exit of the Year” at Unquote British Private Equity Awards 2013

Bridges Ventures is delighted to announce it has been awarded the “Venture Exit of the Year” Award in the prestigious unquote British Private Equity Awards 2013, held in London last night. A link to the full list of awards is here.

Bridges was chosen as the winner for its role in the creation and success of The Gym Group, a business that was described by the judges as “one of the best they have ever seen and with a great social impact.”

Incubated from concept stage by the Bridges team and The Gym’s CEO John Treharne, the company pioneered the low-cost gym sector in the UK and today operates from over 40 different sites across the country, mainly located in inner-city underserved areas. The model, based on offering state-of-the-art fitness facilities in purpose-built gyms which are open 24 hours and offer flexible memberships from as little as £10.99 per month.

The award recognises the successful sale by Bridges of its majority stake in The Gym to Phoenix Equity Partners in June, a transaction that represented a 50% IRR and 3.7x multiple, of which a minority was rolled over to retain a 25% in the business, enabling Bridges to benefit from the future growth of the business.

Bridges Ventures’ investment in The Gym is a strong example of how hands-on private equity investment and entrepreneurial talent can develop an outstanding British business that has delivered both highly attractive financial returns and positive societal impacts. It has brought accessibility and affordability to the health and well-being sector and addressed an important social need amongst traditionally excluded groups. Over 50% of the gyms are located in underserved areas, with over 35% of members being first-time gym-goers and the company has positively contributed to boosting local economies by driving employment and supply spend in underserved areas.

We are extremely proud of the business we have built and delighted to have received this prestigious recognition.