Fitness First, world's largest health club chain to foray into India

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Mumbai, May 10 (UNI) World's largest health club chain, Fitness First is planning its foray into India with plans of launching 20 clubs in the country initially at an estimated investment of Rs 200 crore.

Fitness First's arrival will mark the most high profile entry in a market currently dominated by local players.

Owned by European private equity group, BC Partners, the UK-based fitness chain has 1.6 million members spread across 17 countries.

Globally, it has a network of more than 540 clubs, a release issued here today stated.

In India, Fitness First will launch clubs in Delhi, Mumbai and Bangalore. Fitness First has leased space from leading developers of the country and its first club will be launched in Lokhandwala, Mumbai by May end. The club here will be followed by a 22,000 sq ft Club in Ambi Mall, Gurgaon and then in July with a 24,000 sq ft club in Connaught Place. In August Fitness First will launch a 12,000 sq ft Club in EVA Mall, Brigade Road in Bangalore. These clubs will be followed by more clubs in Delhi, Mumbai and Bangalore in the next quarter.

The Fitness First club in Mega Mall, Lokhandwala here will cover an area of 18,000 sq ft over one floor. The club will be the first health club designed in India to the highest of interior design specification with a capacity to handle 400 plus members exercising at the same time.

According to Fitness First India Private Limited Managing Director Vikram Aditya Bhatia, ''We have officially agreed to commence operations in India and we expect our first club to open in May 2008.'' On the entry strategy, he added, ''The intention is to own 100 per cent of the business, but an alliance could be considered if a potential partner promising to add strategic value to the venture emerged.'' Fitness First will invest in introducing and developing the worlds best Aerobics and Group Exercise formats from Les Mills.

Fitness First will conduct training workshops for the Fitness Instructors. These programs would include the world famous formats of Body Pump, body Combat and RPM, the release added.

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