DLA, Herbies and Slaughters bag David Lloyd sale

Three City law firms have won the lead roles advising on the high profile £925m disposal of Whitbread’s fitness venture David Lloyd Leisure (DLL).

The leisure company was sold to Versailles Bidco, a special purpose vehicle owned by London & Regional properties and Bank of Scotland Corporate.

Whitbread hired Slaughter and May to advise on the sale of the business with partner Martin Hattrell heading a team of seven on the deal.

London & Regional, which owns Next Generation Clubs, hired Herbert Smith as its advisers on the deal with partner Richard Lewis leading the team. Earlier this week (www.thelawyer.com 4 June), London & Regional hired Denton Wilde Sapte property partner Leonard Sebastian as chief legal counsel.

Bank of Scotland Corporate appointed one of its regular advisers DLA Piper, which had its corporate partner, Mel Sims lead a team of three.

The transaction, which has been structured as a direct sale, includes the purchase of David Lloyd Leisure Limited, David Lloyd Leisure Espana I S. L. and David Lloyd Leisure Espana II S. L. and Whitbread shares in David Lloyd Leisure S. A and also a property in Bromsgrove.

DLL has 60 clubs in the the UK and Ireland, with seven in the Netherlands, one in Spain and one in Belgium, and has over 370,000 members.

The sale is still subject to approvals, but is expected to be completed in early August this year after which DLL will be managed by Next Generation Clubs’ management.
Proceeds generated from the disposal will be used to pay off existing debts at Whitbread, which is also being advised by bankers Morgan Stanley.