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23 Jun 2020

Spaticchia leads successful MBO – re-acquires énergie
BY Liz Terry

Spaticchia has bought back the business he founded in 2003

Spaticchia has bought back the business he founded in 2003
photo: énergie Fitness

Jan Spaticchia, founder of énergie Fitness, has led a successful management buyout to reacquire the business which he founded in 2003.

Spaticchia sold the company to Bridges Fund Management in August 2019, however, in May, the directors of énergie brought in FRP Advisory to recapitalise the business.

FRP decided on a sale, which attracted a number of bidders, with Spaticchia’s MBO named as the winner.

HCM understands the sales process completed today for an undisclosed sum, with the management team being backed by RM Funds, the company’s existing secured lender, and a consortium of ten private investors.

This includes several of energie’s original founder-shareholders, such as Steve Philpott, David Beattie and the Ashley family. Spaticchia has also reinvested.

A new company has been formed to acquire the business, trade and assets of the énergie Group, with a ‘significantly strengthened executive’ and a new corporate structure. 

Global expansion will be handled by a newly-established subsidiary and led by a yet-to-be-appointed MD.

Spaticchia will work as executive chair, while énergie veterans, Peter Croney and Fintan Donohue will take up board positions, along with Philpott and Pietro Nicholls, principal portfolio manager at RM Funds.

The executive team includes Eve Gonsalves, John Jempson and former CEO, Neil King, who has been named as MD of a new UK operating subsidiary.

Spaticchia will also continue to act as vice-chair at BMF, the outdoor fitness franchise business, which is part-owned by Bear Grylls and backed by Chris St George and NM Capital.

Commenting on the deal, Nicholls said:  “We’re very pleased to continue to support énergie under Jan Spaticchia and the original management team as the new owners.

“We have a strong belief in the énergie model and in the team’s ability to continue to grow the brand and its network of passionate local owners.”

Spaticchia said: “The énergie community has an authentic commitment to transforming the fitness and wellbeing of its members. 

“With today’s vital focus on health, it’s an honour to be able to play a part in enabling the company to contribute to the national recovery from COVID-19. 

“We’ll be working together as a team to ensure énergie continues to deliver its very special brand of fitness to the benefit of everyone in its community.”

Steve Philpott, director and co-founder of the original énergie business, has stepped back in to invest in the MBO, saying: “Jan Spaticchia built énergie from the ground up and has been one of the fitness industry’s most resilient and successful entrepreneurs.”

“This MBO will see him back in charge of the company he created, at a time when the UK fitness industry is most in need of passionate and committed leadership.”

The énergie portfolio includes 105 clubs with 143,000 members and has 85 franchisees. Annual network turnover pre-COVID-19 was £33m.



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