David Lloyd Leisure acquires all shares in Meridian from Afinum and from Leo Eckstein.
After a successful growth course, AF Eigenkapitalfonds für deutschen Mittelstand GmbH & Co. KG and the managing shareholder Leo Eckstein have sold their holdings in Meridian Spa & Fitness Deutschland GmbH in Hamburg. David Lloyd Leisure is acquiring all shares in the Meridian Group, which operates a total of eight premium fitness and wellness facilities in Hamburg, Berlin, Frankfurt and Kiel.
In December 2014, Afinum had invested in the Meridian Group with the aim of supporting the launch and ramp-up of the new facilities Frankfurt Skyline Plaza and Hamburg Barmbek with growth capital, strengthening the Group’s position as the German market leader in the premium club segment and realigning the company’s market presence and communication strategy.
5 years after Afinum’s entry, the two youngest Meridian clubs now entertain more than 8,000 fitness and wellness enthusiasts about a fifth of the total nearly 39,000 members of the group. During Afinum’s tenure, Meridian’s management was systematically broadened in the course of the succession solution for Leo Eckstein, initiatives for additional revenue sources were defined and the marketing and communication strategy was rejuvenated with a focus on digital media.
Leo Eckstein, who has driven the progress of the company since 2000 and was managing shareholder since 2007, comments: “In fact, Afinum’s entry five years ago not only provided the necessary growth financing for our two new facilities in Frankfurt and Hamburg-Barmbek, but also helped us to gradually but persistently align our organization towards new opportunities and challenges in the market. Always available as sparring partner for our management, the Afinum team has accompanied our transformation in a very constructive manner. Thanks to the support of Afinum, we are better than ever prepared for the future, have significantly increased our revenues and profits, while generating consistently high cash flows. The Meridian Group is now looking forward to continuing its successful development with the David Lloyd Leisure team and further expanding our leading market position in Germany.”
British-based David Lloyd Leisure so far operated 115 clubs in the UK, Netherlands, Belgium, France, Italy, Spain, Ireland, and most recently in Germany, where it acquired its first club at Bad Homburg near Frankfurt in 2018.