United Kingdom’s low-cost fitness chain JD Sports Gyms Ltd (JD Gyms) has acquired homegrown UAE company GymNation and is eyeing an expansion in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) region.   

JD Gyms, part of FTSE 100 listed entity JD Sports Fashion PLC, said the company will explore new opportunities across the GCC, and that the three founders of GymNation will continue to lead the day-to-day business activities and retain a significant minority shareholding. 

“GymNation is a very successful business with an excellent offering, which complements that of the JD Gyms business in the UK,” said Alun Peacock, managing director of JD Gyms. 

“We look forward to working with the management team to springboard the next stage of growth in the UAE, alongside further exciting opportunities across the wider GCC region.” 

Founded in 2018, GymNation operates seven gyms targeting the affordable segment of the market, with branches in Dubai, Ras Al Khaimah and Abu Dhabi. It is being sold by Select Investments Ltd, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Select Group. 

 “The investment in GymNation and subsequent exit through a sale to a strategic buyer perfectly summarises Select Group’s investment philosophy,” said Rahail Aslam, CEO of Select Group.

“We proactively invest in and ensure ongoing value creation through commercial improvements and strategic initiatives. 

“We are proud of GymNation’s extraordinary growth over the past three years and believe this will continue under the umbrella of JD Sports Gyms Ltd.” 

JD Gyms operates 75 gyms in the UK, branded as a premium low-cost chain. Parent company JD Sports Fashion PLC is a branded sportswear retailer with 3,300 s stores in 32 territories. 

(Reporting by Imogen Lillywhite; editing by Cleofe Maceda) 


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