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Private equity firm to buy Goodlife gyms

AAP logoAAP 19/08/2016

Theme park operator Ardent Leisure has struck a $260 million deal to sell Goodlife Health Clubs to a private equity firm as it strives to be a leading global entertainment company.

Under the deal, suitor Quadrant Private Equity will not only acquire Goodlife - one of the largest gym networks in Australia, with 76 clubs and more than 200,000 members - but also Ardent's exercise equipment business Hypoxi.

Ardent Leisure chief executive Deborah Thomas said offloading the health club business was part of a plan to position the group as a leading global entertainment company.

Ms Thomas said the core business was the group's lucrative north American entertainment centres, its Australian theme parks, which includes Dreamworld on the Gold Coast, and its AMF bowling business.

"The divestment of the Health Club division enables the group to execute a pipeline of new high-yielding Main Event Entertainment centres in the US and disciplined investment in the theme parks and bowling businesses," she said in a statement on Friday.

The group has 27 Main Event centres in the US, mainly in Texas, and hopes to repeat its success in Australia by converting its chain of AMF and Kingpin bowling alleys into multi-attraction family entertainment venues.

Ardent's shares were placed in a trading halt on Friday morning ahead of the announcement but have since resumed trading.

Its share price was up 10.87 per cent, or 25 cents, to $2.55 at 1423 AEST.

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