Gym Chain YouFit Gets New Leader and Owners Through Bankruptcy

Gym chain YouFit Health Clubs LLC got a new leader and owners as the company wraps up its bankruptcy case.

The fitness chain, which filed for Chapter 11 in November, will be run by a group of former lenders that took control through the court reorganization process, according to a statement Thursday. Birch Grove Capital is the majority shareholder.

YouFit also appointed Brian Vahaly as its new chief executive officer. Vahaly was formerly chief financial officer of strength-training studio chain Solidcore and earlier worked in private equity and venture capital roles.

The fitness industry is seeking to recover from pandemic-induced forced closures and limits on capacity. Chains including Gold’s Gym International Inc., 24 Hour Fitness Worldwide Inc. and the owner of New York Sports Clubs also sought bankruptcy protection last year.

Youfit filed for bankruptcy with a tentative deal to sell itself to lenders in exchange for debt forgiveness, court papers show. It won approval of the sale in December after agreeing to notify gym-goers that their memberships would be transferred to the new owners.

The company has 80 locations in the U.S., many of them in Florida, according to its website. YouFit was founded in St. Petersburg, Florida in 2008 and remains headquartered in the state.

The case is YouFit Health Clubs LLC, 20-12841, U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware.

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