GYM chain Fitness First is shaping up for expansion after changing hands in an £835m deal.

The company, which is one of the world's largest gym chains with 424 sites in 15 countries, has been bought by investment group BC Partners from private equity firm Cinven.

Plans by BC Partners include expansion of the chain in existing and new territories, with reports saying this could include up to 250 new outlets.

Fitness First started off as a single health club in Bournemouth in 1993 and now has more than a million members in countries including Australia, France, Germany, Italy, Hong Kong and Thailand. It is market leader in ten of the countries in which it operates.

Cinven has doubled its return after taking the firm private in 2003 for £404m