HealthCity/Basic-Fit once again fully in the hands of the founders

HealthCity/Basic-Fit, the largest fitness chain in Europe, is once again in the hands of its founders, who have bought back the 50% interest of investment company Waterland.

In 2005, the founders decided to give an extra impulse to the growth strategy of HealthCity with a capital injection from Waterland. By opening new clubs and through acquisitions in the Netherlands, Belgium and Germany, HealthCity grew in less than three years’ time from 11 to more than 100 clubs. Waterland’s interest had since grown to 50%. In 2009 and 2010, not only was the low-budget Basic-Fit chain acquired, but the Fitness First clubs in France, Italy, Spain and the Benelux were also taken over. The HealthCity/Basic-Fit group currently has more than 750,000 members active in more than 280 clubs in 7 countries, making it the largest fitness chain on the European mainland.

Basic-Fit offers a low-budget membership in its more than 150 clubs in the Netherlands and Belgium, where the entire family has unlimited use of the facilities for only €15.95 per month.

HealthCity is the group’s Premium fitness brand, with exclusive locations in, among other cities, Amsterdam, Madrid, Milan and Paris. Within this formula, numerous additional facilities are also offered, including saunas, tennis- and squash courts, swimming pools, personal coaching and free drinks.

HealthCity/Basic-Fit aspires to further expand its leading market position. In September and October of this year, five new clubs will open in the Netherlands and Belgium, followed by an additional six new clubs in December and January. The goal is to continue growing with 15 new clubs each year.

Rene Moos, CEO: “It’s a new milestone in the thirty-year history of our company. We are extremely pleased that, as the founders, we once again have 100% ownership of the business and are grateful to Waterland for their important contribution towards the growth of our company these past eight years.”

Rob Thielen, chairman and founder of Waterland: “We are tremendously proud of the leading position that HealthCity/Basic-Fit has achieved in the European fitness sector. Between 2005 and 2013, the period when Waterland was co-owner of the group, 25 acquisitions were made and more than 50 clubs opened. This took enormous efforts and, for Waterland, was the largest buy & build process in our investment portfolio to date. HealthCity/Basic-Fit are well positioned for the next growth phase in the dynamic European fitness sector and we wish the management team, consisting of Rene Moos, Eric Wilborts, Dennis Aarts and Hans van der Aar, much success in their endeavours.”

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