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Chinese private equity firm may take over Pure Group

A Chinese private equity firm is reportedly about to buy control of Pure Group, which runs Pure Fitness and Pure Yoga centres in Hong Kong, Shanghai, Singapore, Taipei and New York.

A deal would value the health and fitness chain, which has its headquarters in Hong Kong, at more than US$400 million, reports The Straits Times. It says FountainVest Partners is holding late-stage negotiations with Pure Group owners including buyout firm Leonard Green & Partners and businessman Bruce Rockowitz.

Other potential buyers, including Primavera Capital, cannot be ruled out at this stage, insiders say.

Pure Group has more than 70,000 clients and a staff of 1400. In Singapore, the company just opened a 28,000sqft (2600sqm) fitness club in Ngee Ann City that features a 30m sprint track and a dedicated boxing area. It is scheduled to open a seventh outlet, a yoga studio in the Marina Bay area complete with a retail storefront, in the first quarter of next year.

In Hong Kong, Pure Group fitness centres occupy prime real-estate space, such as IFC Mall and Pacific Place.
Founded in 2002, the group also runs the rooftop Red Bar + Restaurant, which sells its own branded activewear alongside organic food.

Rockowitz, CEO of Global Brands Group Holding and husband of Chinese pop singer Coco Lee, is believed to own about half of Pure Group but is expected to divest a significant portion of his holding in any sale. Fung Group, the private holding company of Hong Kong billionaire brothers Victor and William Fung, is also seeking to offload its stake of about 10 per cent.

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