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Last Updated: Monday, 26 March 2007, 09:35 GMT 10:35 UK
Whitbread gets David Lloyd offers
A gym in Newcastle
Gyms and health clubs have become big business in the UK
Leisure company Whitbread has said it has been approached by a number of parties interested in buying its David Lloyd health club chain.

The announcement follows weekend newspaper reports suggesting Scott Lloyd, whose father founded the sports club chain, wanted to buy the firm.

Whitbread, which also owns the Costa Coffee chain, bought the David Lloyd business for 200m in 1995.

The company has been looking at selling off parts of its business.

Bid backers

Takeover rumours have also been swirling around the Whitbread group itself, helping boost the company's share price to record levels.

It recently got rid of a 50% holding in Pizza Hut and its TGI Friday bar business.

Whitbread also runs Premier Travel Inns, and the Beefeater and Brewers Fayre pub and restaurant businesses.

According to a report in the Mail on Sunday, Mr Lloyd wants to buy back the business set up by his father and former Davis Cup captain, David.

Mr Lloyd is thought to have the backing of property investors Ian and Richard Livingstone.

Last year, the Livingstone brothers bought Next Generation, the chain of sports clubs founded by the Lloyd family after they had sold the David Lloyd group.

Whitbread's shares closed down 2.5% at 1888 pence.

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