Investor group acquires Steve Nash Fitness Club rights

VANCOUVER — A group of investors has acquired the rights to Steve Nash Fitness World & Sports Clubs, the company announced Tuesday.

Chris Smith, who will remain CEO, said in a statement the new ownership team has committed to reopening clubs as quickly as possible. Company management says it will honour all existing service agreements, including prepaid memberships and personal training services.

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“We have plans to rebrand the clubs and create incredible value for the communities that we serve,” Smith said. All locations operated by the chain’s parent company — SNFW Fitness B.C. Ltd. — have been closed since mid-March.

The identities of the new owners have not been made public, but they have extensive experience in the fitness industry, according to The Bowra Group, which was appointed as the proposal trustee in the insolvency proceedings of SNFW Fitness.

Under those proceedings, all legal actions against the company — which owes more than $44 million to creditors — are stayed. SNFW Fitness filed a notice of intention to file a proposal to creditors on April 3. After an initial deadline extension, the company was to submit that proposal by end-of-day June 17. Today, the company will ask the B.C. Supreme Court to extend its deadline for filing a proposal by a month and a half. If the company does not file a proposal by deadline, it is deemed bankrupt under federal bankruptcy and insolvency legislation.

During this process, the B.C. Supreme Court also approved plans by SNFW Fitness and its trustee to attempt to sell the company.

Court documents indicate that the buyer is in the process of setting up a new corporate structure. It is anticipated that approximately 65 per cent of former SNFW Fitness’s 1,300 former employees will be offered employment, depending upon locations that can be re-opened.

The sale of the company has not yet been approved by B.C. Supreme Court.

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