Sports Club Co. looking at going private again

The Sports Club Co. Inc. (AMEX: SCY), an owner of luxury sports clubs, has said it is considering going private and has hired an investment bank.
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The Sports Club Co. Inc. (AMEX: SCY), an owner of luxury sports clubs, has said it is considering going private and has hired an investment bank to help it raise up to $50 million in private equity, a company statement announced. The company's board will meet Dec. 10 to consider creating a special committee composed of its independent directors to analyze various financing and ownership structures. One possibility is a "going private" transaction in which certain company principal shareholders may participate. The company has hired Hankin & Co., a Los Angeles-based investment banking firm, to help raise private equity to establish separate joint ventures for the development of smaller luxury sports and fitness complexes under The Sports Club/LA brand. These smaller complexes will be located near an existing Sports Club/LA club, or will be co-located in a luxury hotel or other upscale residential or mixed-use development. The company, which has already secured a site in Beverly Hills, Calif., to be the first of such complexes, said it anticipates these new complexes will be operated by the company under separate management agreements. For the nine months ended Sept. 30, Sports Club reported a loss of $13.9 million. SNEWS View: We have heard from those who have been close to the club that going public took the nimble out from under its feet and left it worrying about investors -- not unusual in these scenarios. Returning to the ranks of privacy could be a good thing for its growth and success, and its ability to quickly meet changing consumer demands.

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