Providence Agrees to Acquire VivaGym

April 29, 2024
  • The new shareholder will support VivaGym’s strategic growth plan focused on Spain and Portugal 
  • The management team will re-invest alongside Providence and continue to lead the business, with Juan del Río Nieto remaining as CEO
  • Providence is a longstanding investor in Spain and has experience partnering with quality businesses in the leisure industry across Europe

LONDON AND MÁLAGA – 29 APRIL 2024 – Providence Equity Partners (“Providence”), a premier private equity firm specializing in growth-oriented investments in media, communications, education, and technology, today announced it has agreed to acquire VivaGym Group (“VivaGym”), a leading Iberian operator of affordable gyms, from Bridges Fund Management (“Bridges”), a specialist sustainable and impact investor. Financial terms were not disclosed.

VivaGym operates 104 gyms with over 315,000 members across Spain and Portugal. As a customer-focused innovator, VivaGym is a leader in the Iberian fitness market through a service offering underpinned by high-quality facilities; fun and engaging group classes; long opening hours; and affordable and flexible membership options.

Bridges first invested in VivaGym in 2015 when its footprint spanned just 15 gyms in Spain. The firm had a deep understanding of the sector, having previously launched The Gym Group, a UK-based affordable gym operator that subsequently listed on the London Stock Exchange. This expertise enabled Bridges to build a best-in-class management team, streamline operations and processes, expand footprint through new openings and strategic bolt-on acquisitions – notably Fitness Hut, one of the largest operators of affordable gyms in Portugal, as well as Duet Fit and Happy Gym.

Providence has considerable experience partnering with quality businesses in the leisure and adjacent industries across Europe, as well as an extensive background investing in Spain. Its experienced investment team will assist VivaGym as it continues to execute its growth strategy in Spain and Portugal. VivaGym’s management team, who will continue leading the business post-closing, are re-investing alongside Providence, as is Ares Management Corporation, VivaGym’s primary lender. 

“Europe’s fitness industry is one we have studied closely for ten years and we believe now is the right time to partner with a leader like VivaGym in this highly attractive market,” said Robert Sudo, Managing Director at Providence Equity Partners. “In our view, VivaGym is a classic Providence investment: a solid business model with loyal customers, engaged and talented employees, and an established brand. At the same time, we believe VivaGym has significant growth potential and we look forward to working closely with Juan and his team to continue capturing the attractive market opportunity. With nearly 20 years of experience investing in Spain, and prior experience partnering with leisure businesses, we believe Providence is well positioned to support VivaGym as it enters an exciting new phase of growth.”

James Hurrell, Partner at Bridges Fund Management, said: “It has been hugely satisfying to see VivaGym’s growth – from just 15 gyms when we invested to more than 100 today. During that period, it has broadened access to high-quality gym facilities, and supported better health outcomes for hundreds of thousands of people. We believe that VivaGym has built one of the best platforms in the industry. Under Juan’s inspirational leadership, we have no doubt it will go from strength to strength in the coming years, and continue to meet its ambitious goals.”

Juan del Río Nieto, CEO of VivaGym, added: “Since Bridges’ investment in 2015, VivaGym has pursued an ambitious growth plan, expanding from 15 to 104 clubs. Thanks to its previous investments in this sector, Bridges’ experience and industry knowledge of best practice has helped us transform VivaGym into a leading operator within the Iberian market. Bridges was also a hugely important partner in helping us manage and bounce back from the challenges of the Covid period and we owe them much thanks for their support.


Looking ahead, we are very excited to work closely with Providence as we double down on our efforts to cement VivaGym as an Iberian leader in fitness. We have the shared passion and vision to make health and fitness as accessible, affordable and fun as possible – giving us the confidence that Providence is the right partner as we enter this new chapter.”

The agreement is subject to customary and regulatory closing conditions, including approval by the Spanish and Portuguese antitrust authorities. Closing is expected before the end of Q2 2024.

Providence Equity Partners was advised by Roland Berger, PwC, CBRE, West Monroe, Uría Menendez and Allen & Overy. Bridges Fund Management was advised by lead advisor Canaccord Genuity, as well as KPMG, Deloitte and Eversheds.

About Bridges Fund Management
Bridges Fund Management is a specialist sustainable and impact investor, focused exclusively on the transition to a more sustainable and inclusive economy. Its private equity funds target sectors where there is a clear positive correlation between commercial and impact performance, investing in growth companies with the potential to achieve attractive financial returns alongside positive social and environmental impact. Founded in 2002, Bridges has now raised over £1.7bn across its platform of property, private equity, and outcomes strategies.

About Providence Equity Partners
Providence Equity Partners is a specialist private equity investment firm focused on growth-oriented media, communications, education and technology companies across North America and Europe. Providence combines its partnership approach to investing with deep industry expertise to help management teams build exceptional businesses and generate attractive returns. Since its founding in 1989, Providence has invested over $36 billion across more than 175 private equity portfolio companies. With its headquarters in Providence, RI, the firm also has offices in New York, London, Boston and Atlanta. For more information, please visit

About VivaGym
VivaGym Group is a leading operator of affordable gyms in Iberia, with a footprint spanning Lisbon, Barcelona, Madrid, Valencia, Porto, Zaragoza and Bilbao. With over 1,000 employees and over 150,000m2 in facilities, the company offers its members a differentiated value proposition combining quality facilities and service with affordable prices. The ethos of VivaGym Group is a combination of team action and a strong determination to deliver results and expand the base from the current platform. For more information, please visit and



VivaGym is a leading operator of low-cost gyms in Iberia


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