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Holmes Place, the chain of 46 gyms, is to be acquired by Virgin Active for undisclosed terms, creating a combined group of 174 sites.
Holmes Place has sold its 15 fitness clubs in Spain and Portugal to a consortium of local private equity firms for £76m.
Holmes Place is to undergo a £25m management buy-out backed by Bridgepoint and Permira, and plans to open about 25 health clubs across Europe over the next three years.
Holmes Place has received a £202m merger proposal from Cannons, which would create the UK's largest chain of premium health clubs.
Holmes Place is in negotiations to open health clubs at a number of Sainsbury's sites in London and elsewhere, either in basements or upper floors.
Holmes Place is planning to open six new health clubs this year to add to the existing 63.
Holmes Place is planning to open seven new health and fitness clubs later this year, followed by 18 in 2001 and 14 in 2002.
Holmes Place is to set up a health and fitness club at MEPC's Two Rivers development in Staines, while Warners will open a 10-screen cinema.
Holmes Place has acquired Citygreen du Leman, the Swiss health and fitness club operator, for £3.4m.
Holmes Place is to spend up to £40m opening another 10 health clubs this year, to add to the existing 26.