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  • Status: Realised
  • Date: 2003–2012
  • Sector:
    • Business & Technology Services

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DC Leisure

In partnership with Sovereign and as a result of its ongoing funding, DC Leisure strengthened its position as one of the UK's leading leisure management contractors.

Investment Background

Sovereign's specialist leisure and local authority outsourcing knowledge made DC Leisure an attractive investment at the time of the acquisition in 2003. Founded in 1991 and headquartered in Bagshot, Surrey, DC Leisure had already become the UK’s second largest operators of UK local authority leisure centres. But in order to fully leverage its success, the company looked to Sovereign to support the next stage of its journey.

In partnership with the company, Sovereign helped to recruit Steve Philpott, previously Managing Director of David Lloyd Leisure, to lead the management team.

Value Creation

  • Bolstered the Board with a new CEO
  • Instigated an extensive investment programme improving the facilities and supporting the growth of the business across the country

The DC LEISURE Growth Story

In partnership with Sovereign, DC Leisure was able to invest significantly in the business, further building on its strong reputation as a leading contractor in the market. By the time of exit, the company employed some 5,800 staff and managed around 100 leisure facilities on behalf of local authorities. DC Leisure was acquired by Places for People Group, which comprises a network of specialist companies focused on building sustainable communities.

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Sovereign was a highly supportive partner over the last nine years as we have developed our offering and consolidated our market position.

Steve Philpott / CEO