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Clearwater completes first deal since merger

Mid-market advisory firm Clearwater International has completed its first deal since its merger, advising boutique gym chain Gymbox on its GBP10m investment of growth capital from Business Growth Fund (BGF).

This comes after Clearwater Corporate Finance merged with Danish firm Advizer and IMAP Lynx, based in Spain and Portugal, forming Clearwater International.
Gymbox currently has five clubs across London and will use BGF’s capital to continue its site roll-out in 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 is expected to turnover GBP10m, with an EBITDA of GBP3.5m, 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 Yorkshire-based low-cost gym group Xercise4Less in August 2013, which now has 23 gyms nationwide.
Clearwater International partner Marcus Archer and assistant director Alex Patey advised Gymbox founder Richard Hilton on the transaction.
Archer says: “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."
Hilton says: “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 in audience in London and other UK cities.”  
Alistair Brew, investment director for BGF, says: “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.”

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