The gyms group David Lloyd Leisure has been bought by TDR Capital. The private equity firm, which is believed to have paid £750m for the business, said it plans to inject £50m into the group and to expand it across the UK and Europe.
It is understood that the group has its eyes on a further 20 sites in this country and is keen to create many more of the new high street version of the gyms, known as DL Studios.
TDR has a strong record for investing in the leisure sector with PizzaExpress, Center parcs and Stonegate Pubs among its successful ventures.
Whitbread, which had bought the business from the former Davis Cup captain, sold it for £925m to a group made up of the Livingstone brothers' London & Regional and Bank of Scotland's private-equity arm in 2007.
The group operates 87 David Lloyd gyms and two exclusive Harbour Clubs. It has around 450,000 members. It also has 10 clubs in Europe. TDR said it would look at making further acquisitions to grow the business.
David Lloyd Leisure's chief executive Scott Lloyd, son of the founder, said: "I am delighted to be partnering with TDR for the next phase in DLL's development.
"The team at TDR have an enviable track record of investing in highly successful businesses, particularly in the leisure sector and DLL and its members will see immense benefit from their experience and expertise."