Officials from Gold’s Gym International, Gold’s parent company TRT Holdings Inc. and Bally Total Fitness are meeting this week in Chicago to discuss due diligence that may result in a merger of the two companies, according to a source with knowledge of the situation.
The meetings were scheduled to begin at noon today and continue on Wednesday, the source tells Club Industry. Another meeting is scheduled on Thursday in Towson, MD, site of Bally’s information technology (IT) center, and yet another meeting is scheduled at Bally’s member service center in Norwalk, CA, according to the source. Bally’s headquarters is in Chicago.
According to the source, among the topics being discussed today and tomorrow are Bally’s club operations, member services, IT, marketing, corporate sales, group exercise, personal training and retail efforts, legal matters, licensing, facilities, real estate, taxes and finances.
As part of the discussion, the source says that Bally CEO Michael Sheehan will be asked how Bally officials would react to a potential acquisition by Gold’s and TRT Holdings, which both are based in Irving, TX, and how Bally officials would react to the possibility that Bally’s brand might be eliminated.
When asked about this week’s meetings in Chicago, Gold’s declined to comment.
“There are an incredible amount of rumors out there and as a matter of policy we do not comment on rumors,” Dave Reiseman, vice president of communications for Gold’s, wrote in an email.
Bally spokesperson Pete Marino told Club Industry in an email that the company does not comment on speculation about mergers and acquisitions.
Gold’s plans to visit about 40 Bally clubs, and based on the evaluation of these clubs, a decision will be made to continue or abandon talks of an acquisition, according to the source. Another source told Club Industry that if Gold’s acquires Bally, it would close 34 Bally clubs that would be in direct competition with existing Gold’s licensees or franchisees.
Several sources told Club Industry in June that Gold’s was in talks to acquire Bally. Last month, some sources said that a possible deal was all but dead; other sources said that the deal was all but done.