Holmes Place Flexes Its Muscles in Europe

The Holmes Place company, which runs a chain of health and fitness centers, raised 6 million euro from Israeli and foreign investors to fund expansion into central Europe.

The firm intends to expand into the Czech Republic, Hungary and Poland with an investment of 10 million euro, with its first new branch set for Prague.

The money was raised through a private share offering of 45 percent of the shares in the Holmes Place Central Europe subsidiary, which will manage the firm's new business in the region. The offering reflects a value of 13.3 million euro.

At the beginning of 2004, the Rothschild Private Equity fund bought 10 percent of the shares of the parent company at an estimated company value of NIS 150 million.

Holmes Place Israel has 13 branches with an estimated NIS 120 million turnover.

The issue was led by Czech Venture Partners and the investment fund of the Rothschild Bank, with Nexus Global Partners serving as advisers.