Lawfuel – The Law Newswire – London – DLA Piper UK LLP has advised Ban…

Lawfuel – The Law Newswire – London – DLA Piper UK LLP has advised Bank of Scotland Corporate on its joint acquisition with London & Regional Properties of David Lloyd Leisure Ltd from Whitbread Plc for £925 million. The acquisition vehicle, called Versaille Bidco Ltd, is jointly owned by London & Regional Properties and Bank of Scotland Corporate.
In what was a highly competitive sale process for one of the UK’s premiere leisure assets, DLA Piper worked with Versaille Bidco Ltd to deliver the most attractive offer to Whitbread Plc, beating interest from a number of trade and financial buyers.
The DLA Piper team was led by corporate partner Mel Sims, with assistance from Julian Mathews (Corporate), Ed Griffiths (Corporate) and Alex Griffiths (Banking).
The deal was put together in a very tight time scale and will see the consortium integrate the business with Next Generation Clubs, which will create the leading racquets, health and fitness club group in the UK. The combined entity will operate 77 clubs in the UK and a further 10 sites across Europe, with two new clubs due to open later this year.
Completion is expected to occur in August 2007 and the combined business will be run by the Next Generation Clubs’ management team led by current CEO Scott Lloyd.
Mel Sims, partner at DLA Piper, commented: “We are delighted to have acted for Bank of Scotland Corporate on this high profile transaction which exchanged in the same week that we will be acting for them on their realisation of their investment in Red Funnel Group – the Southampton/Isle of Wight Ferry operator secondary buy out which they supported, and we acted on, in May 2004.”
David Lloyd Leisure Ltd was founded in 1982 by David Lloyd and sold to Whitbread in 1995, who continued to grow the business by rolling out new sites in the UK and Europe. Next Generation Clubs was founded in 1996 by Scott Lloyd and was acquired by London & Regional Properties in 2006. Both businesses specialise in providing a range of premium health activities, including racquet sports, swimming pools and gyms, with additional services including health and beauty spas, crèche facilities, restaurants and bars.
The DLA Piper team was led by corporate partner Mel Sims, with assistance from Julian Mathews (Corporate), Ed Griffiths (Corporate) and Alex Griffiths (Banking).

ENDS
For further information:
Nick Bell, Media Relations, DLA Piper UK LLP, Tel: +44 (0) 20 7153 7127 or email [email protected]

Notes to editors:

1. DLA Piper is a global legal services organisation with offices across Europe, Asia, the Middle East and the US. Over 3,400 lawyers across 63 offices and 24 countries provide a broad range of legal services to businesses that operate on a local, regional and global level. DLA Piper is relationship driven and committed to meeting the ongoing legal needs of its clients.

2. The corporate practice group comprises over 700 lawyers around the world, including a substantial City of London team which represents UK and international corporate and institutional clients. In 2006 DLA Piper’s Corporate Group ranked number one for volume of M&A deals in both the UK and the European mid-market and number two for volume of M&A deals globally (source: mergermarket). Its expertise covers all types of transactional and advisory work including mergers, acquisitions and disposals, flotations, issues of securities, fundraisings, private equity financing and buyouts, corporate tax and employee incentive arrangements.
3. DLA Piper was named “Global Law Firm of the Year” at The Lawyer Awards 2006.

4. For further information about our organisation and services, please visit our website: www.dlapiper.com

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