Flyefit plots fundraising to double gym to 35

It has retained Capnua, which also owns a stake in the business, to secure investment

Low-cost gym chain Flyefit is planning to raise tens of millions of euro to fund a doubling of its network to 35 locations over the coming years.

Flyefit, which is majority owned by businessmen Brendan O'Hagan and Sé Kennedy, has retained boutique corporate finance firm Capnua, which also owns a stake in the business, to secure investment, which may come in the form of equity and debt, according to sources.

“Flyefit is currently exploring options and looking at raising capital to double the size of the business to 35 gyms over the next five years,” a spokesman for the company said in response to questions, declining to comment further on the plan.

Flyefit opened its first gym at the height of the downturn in 2011 and now has 15 gyms in Dublin, including one opened last week in Jervis Street, and one in Cork. The company has 70,000 members. Its gyms are typically 20,000sq ft in size.

Net profits at Flyefit Holdings Ltd jumped 40 per cent to €4.07 million in 2018 as turnover grew to €14.2 million from €11.2 million, according to accounts filed with the Companies Registration Office in December. Accumulated profits at the end of the period amounted to €10 million.

Lost control

Flyefit costs members €29 a month. The business originally involved Jackie Skelly and Mark Tooke, who lost control of the Jackie Skelly gym chain in 2010. However, they stepped down as directors in late 2016.

Mr O’Hagan and Mr Kennedy have backgrounds in ranges of businesses including telecoms, property and distribution.

While industry sources have speculated that the fundraising effort may attract bid interest in the business, sources said it is not for sale and that any new equity investor would be highly unlikely to secure a majority stake.

Directors’ remuneration came to €225,500 in 2018, while the company paid rent of €490,000 to Mr O’Hagan.

The gym chain employed an average of 46 people during the latest reporting year with staff costs coming to €1.8 million.