The Gym Group has raised fresh cash through a placing it launched yesterday to fund its acquisition of 13 easyGym sites.

Shares in the company were up 4.4 per cent in early trading.

Almost 10m shares were placed, raising £24m before expenses.

The company's banking facilities will also be extended by £10m as part of the transaction to acquire the new gyms.

Read more: The Gym Group founder to step down as chief executive in September

The Gym Group will pay £20.6m up front to current owner Argosy Capital and an additional £4.1m when lease extensions are agreed on two sites.

The announcement was made yesterday as the group provided an update on current trading.

Six new gyms are expected to open by the end of the first half, taking the total estate to 134. Meanwhile total membership numbers are up 31.8 per cent to 668,000.

The Gym Group's active expansion has seen it acquire other small chains, such as the 18-site Lifestyle Fitness.

Read more: How gyms are filling spaces left vacant by retailers and restaurants

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