Lloyd serving club business to market

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The Independent Online
DAVID LLOYD, the former England tennis international who is bringing his leisure clubs company to the market, forecast a 34 per cent increase in operating profits to pounds 6m this year.

The flotation is expected to value the the business at more than pounds 50m.

At the launch of the pathfinder prospectus yesterday, the company forecast pre-tax profits of pounds 5m for the year to 30 September, on turnover expected to be 15 per cent higher at pounds 18m.

David Lloyd Leisure operates seven clubs in the south-east of England, and plans to open five more over the next three years near urban centres such as Birmingham, Manchester and Bristol. A new club in Glasgow is scheduled to open in the autumn, and one at Beckenham is awaiting the result of a planning appeal later this year.

The clubs all offer indoor and outdoor tennis courts, gymnasia and swimming pools, along with bar/restaurants and creches. Members pay a once-off joining fee and then an annual charge.

The shares are being placed with institutions, with a 25 per cent clawback for a public offering. Impact day is set for 4 March and dealing is expected to start on 19 March.

Leisure Holdings, an Irish venture capital company, is selling its 72 per cent stake, but Mr Lloyd, chairman, is not selling any shares. He will retain a 10 per cent stake after flotation, against his current holding of 16 per cent of the narrower capital base.

He said: 'We have expanded dramatically with the support of the existing shareholders and the banks, but we now need a broader capital base.'