The UK’s largest gym operator has bought European gym and fitness operator Fitness World.

The deal will create a group with 500 sites across the UK and Europe and provide a platform to accelerate its international expansion, which includes plans for trial sites in the USA.

Humphrey Cobbold, chief executive officer of PureGym, said: “This transaction brings together two well matched, successful market-leading businesses and the combination creates a powerful platform from which to accelerate growth and deliver on our purpose of getting even more people, more active, more often.”

Humphrey Cobbold, Pure Gym chief executive

PureGym was founded in 2008 and was part of the new wave of low-cost gym membership operators that disrupted the health and fitness market. It now has more than 1 million members in the UK.

PureGym has opened over 70 sites since being acquired by funds controlled by Leonard Green & Partners (LGP) in 2017 and will be trading from 263 locations in the UK by the end of this year.


Cobbold added: “The acquisition of Fitness World is a transformational deal for PureGym and will support our long-held ambition to become a leading international gym and fitness operator.

“Fitness World is a business we know well and have long admired. The team there have done an outstanding job in building unparalleled leadership in the highly attractive Danish market with exciting growth positions in Switzerland and Poland.”

PureGym has continued to pioneer new innovations such as digital fitness studios, online fitness training through its app and new formats such as PureGym Local which targets smaller towns.

The combined group will be trading from over 500 sites and in that regard will be second only to Basic Fit in the European market.


Steen Albrechtslund, CEO of Fitness World, said: “Their decision to invest in Fitness World is testament to the business we have built, which is the overwhelming market leader in Denmark and a growing player in Switzerland and Poland. Like PureGym we are passionate about making fitness more affordable and accessible.

“We believe that the combined business will create an even more impactful business, enabling us to take our attractive proposition to more people across Europe.”