24 Hour Fitness is reportedly considering bankruptcy options as the coronavirus pandemic continues to squeeze the fitness industry.
Sources familiar with the matter told CNBC that the company is working with Lazard investment bank and lawyers from Weil, Gotshal & Manges to explore its options.
In a statement to Business Insider, a spokesperson for 24 Hour Fitness said that it is “considering a broad range of options to ensure the long term sustainability” of the company. The spokesperson refused to comment on its specific plans, however.
24 Hour Fitness is among the gyms and fitness studios in the US to be suffering at present as the coronavirus lockdown keeps their businesses closed and consumers at home.
24 Hour Fitness has nearly 450 locations around the US. In a recent note, Jefferies analysts estimated it to have around 4 million members, helping it to pull in yearly revenues of $1.5 billion.
But its woes predated the pandemic. The company is currently lumbered with a heavy debt load, and at the end of 2019, its financial rating was downgraded by Moody’s following “a sizable decline in membership count” and “an acceleration in comparable club revenue declines in the third quarter.”
Jefferies analysts say its possible demise could greatly benefit rival chain Planet Fitness when the lockdown eases.
“In our recent in-depth report on Planet Fitness, we pointed out that Planet Fitness’s lowest-cost membership pricing, large and growing unit network and highly profitable franchisee base would allow the company to gain massive market share from other gyms and other boutique fitness businesses. The effects of the coronavirus-related shutdowns are only accelerating these share gains,” the Jefferies analysts wrote in a note to clients on Monday.
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