In the first week of September 2013, David Lloyd Leisure was taken over by the private equity group TDR Capital. It is a deal that will lead to a significant investment (approximately £50m) into upgrading the clubs and also allow the chain to expand its operations overseas.
In 1980, David Lloyd the former tennis pro and Davis Cup Captain founded the chain which was sold to Whitbread during the mid 1990’s. It was then purchased in 2006 by London & Regional for £925m and merged with its Next Generation chain. TDR, founded in 2002, has a successful track record in the leisure sector with recognised brands including PizzaExpress, Center Parcs and Stonegate Pub Company. This is an interesting move that broadens the breadth of their leisure portfolio whilst retaining the focus on quality and premium brands.
David Lloyd Leisure & TDR suggest they have identified 20 locations in the UK for expansion in addition to a number of opportunities overseas. Manjit Dale, TDR founder, said: “We look forward to investing capital in order to further improve the member experience and to attract new members. We believe that DLL will be a great first investment for our latest fund, drawing as it does on our experience of growing first-class leisure businesses in the UK for the benefit of members, staff and investors.”