Health group Fitness First which has a club in Norwich is in talks over loans

The largest health club group in the world - Fitness First - is facing tough discussions with its lenders as it moves close to breaching bank loan terms.

The gym chain, which has a club in Norwich employs 13,000 people and has 1.2 million members worldwide, is understood to be drawing up a turnaround strategy in a bid to persuade its banks to refinance its �550m debt burden.

But as it stands Fitness First, which has 430 clubs worldwide, including 140 in the UK, is currently set to breach banking convenant tests at the end of this month.

The chain's owners, BC Partners, has fired the company's top management team as part of an overhaul, including chief executive Colin Waggett, finance director Duncan Tatton-Brown and UK managing director John Gamble, it has been reported.

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