Sports Direct in talks to buy 30 gyms from LA Fitness

The UK-based sporting goods retailer Sports Direct International Plc is in talks to acquire numerous gyms from LA Fitness, a person familiar with the matter revealed.

Requesting anonymity, the person said Sports Direct was preparing to enter the health and fitness industry by acquiring leases on around 30 gyms from LA Fitness that were put on sale as part of the gym operator's restructuring plan.

Claiming to have direct knowledge of the matter, the person said, "Sports Direct has expressed an interest. [Branching out into health clubs] is something they have talked about. It is logical extension of what they do."

Founded by Mike Ashley, Sports Direct will likely pursue an aggressive expansion of the fitness business, if the reported talks become successful. The British retailer, which owns numerous brands like Dunlop and Slazenger, also owns fashion & fitness brand LA Gear in California.

LA Fitness, which is owned by private equity firm Mid Ocean Partners, put 33 of its fitness clubs on sale amid declining sales due to rapid growth of low-cost competitors.

A Sports Direct spokesperson decline to comment on the report, while a spokesperson for LA Fitness said the company was in talks with numerous companies, and Sports Direct was one of them.

Sports Direct operates more than 600 sports stores in Europe, including 400 in the U. K.

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