OakNorth and Searchlight Capital Partners provide £88.5m capital solution to Third Space to support London’s luxury health club brand’s continued growth

  • Backed by KSL Capital Partners, Third Space is a luxury health and fitness brand with eight clubs across London;
  • The financing provided by OakNorth and Searchlight Capital Partners will support Third Space’s business plan which includes the opening of additional clubs.

OakNorth, the neobank for entrepreneurs, by entrepreneurs, has partnered with Searchlight Capital Partners, a private investment firm operating across Europe and North America, to provide debt finance to Third Space, a London-based luxury health and fitness brand.

Launched in 2001 and currently operating a portfolio of eight clubs in iconic locations across London, Third Space has cemented itself as one of the pillars of the city’s vibrant health and fitness scene. KSL Capital Partners – a leading investment firm focused on travel & leisure – acquired a majority stake in July 2021 from Encore Capital, who remain involved as a minority shareholder in the business. With the additional capital from OakNorth and Searchlight Capital Partners, Third Space plans to significantly increase its footprint and grow its team.

Colin Waggett, CEO of Third Space, commented: “We are seeing exceptionally strong demand for Third Space memberships, with most of our clubs operating with waiting lists. Our business sits at the heart of Londoners’ desire for health and fitness, authentic experiences and luxury service, and Third Space is uniquely positioned to meet these demands. We are pleased to have support from both OakNorth and Searchlight, and we look forward to opening more clubs in residential locations to complement our excellent central London sites and enhance member value, as we know that members like to use a club close to home and work.”

Deepesh Thakrar, Senior Director of Debt Finance at OakNorth, continued: “This is a very exciting transaction for OakNorth – Third Space is a market-leading fitness company that has a loyal clientele and a phenomenal brand. It is backed by an incredibly strong and well-recognised sponsor in KSL Capital, which has tremendous expertise in the leisure sector. It was a pleasure partnering with Searchlight to come up with an innovative structured finance facility – we hope to work with them on more joint loans in the future. Josh Mailling, Senior Associate and Ben Wulwik, Head of execution at OakNorth were instrumental in getting this deal closed and worked tirelessly with me to deliver for Third Space.”

Oliver Haarmann, Founding Partner at Searchlight, concluded: “Over the past twenty years, Third Space has established itself as a true leader in London’s burgeoning health market. We see significant opportunity for its continued growth, so are excited to be able to support the business as it enters the next stage of its journey.”

OakNorth was advised on the transaction by Lee Federman, leveraged finance partner at law firm, Jones Day. Third Space was advised by Neil Smith, Managing Director and Randal Pringle, Director at Rothschild & Co Debt Advisory, and Charles Armstrong, banking partner at Latham & Watkins.




Notes to editors

About OakNorth Bank plc

Launched in September 2015 and founded by entrepreneurs, OakNorth Bank provides fast, flexible, and accessible debt finance to the UK’s Missing Middle.

Since its launch, the bank has:

  • Lent over £10b, directly helping with the creation of 40,000 new jobs and 29,000 new homes across the UK.
  • Raised deposits from c.200,000 savers.
  • Supported several hundred businesses across the UK with the debt finance to pursue their growth ambitions.

It is authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority.

Visit www.oaknorth.co.uk for more information.


About Third Space

Third Space is a luxury fitness lifestyle brand offering a unique high-quality fitness and wellness experience. Third Space was launched in 2001 and operates a portfolio of eight clubs in iconic locations across the capital, including Canary Wharf, Tower Bridge, Soho, Marylebone, Tower Bridge, and Islington. All the clubs have at their heart a state of the art fitness and training offering centred around group classes, top-quality equipment and personal training. The clubs have best in class changing facilities, a healthy grab and go café called Natural Fitness Food as well as facilities which vary from site to site including swimming pools, spas, medical centres, climbing walls, and altitude chambers. Third Space employs over 900 people and is led by an experienced management team committed to executing a high-quality expansion plan. For more information, please visit Third Space | Training for life.


About KSL Capital Partners

KSL Capital Partners is a private equity firm specializing in travel and leisure enterprises in five primary sectors: hospitality, recreation, clubs, real estate and travel services. KSL has offices in Denver, Colorado; New York City; Stamford, Connecticut; and London, England. Since 2005, KSL has raised in excess of $21 billion of capital across both equity, credit and tactical opportunities funds. KSL’s current portfolio includes some of the premier properties in travel and leisure, such as Soneva in the Maldives, Beaumier in Europe, and Baillie Lodges in Australia. For more information, please visit www.kslcapital.com.


About Searchlight Capital Partners, L.P.

Searchlight is a global private investment firm with more than $11 billion in assets under management and offices in New York, London, Toronto and Miami. Searchlight seeks to invest in businesses where its long-term capital and strategic support accelerate value creation for all stakeholders. For more information, please visit www.searchlightcap.com.


About Encore Capital LLP

Encore Capital is a London based investment firm focused on backing entrepreneurial growth businesses. Encore actively seeks to invest in buyouts and development capital opportunities. Encore is opportunity driven with a structure and approach that allows it to make informed decisions quickly and to invest in situations which others may find challenging.

Encore is owned and managed by its Partners who have a proven track record in building and realising value for shareholders and management teams.

Encore takes an active role in building and supporting strong management teams. It works closely with portfolio companies to develop strategic plans, enhance organic growth, pursue value creating acquisitions, and increase operational efficiencies. www.encorecapital.co.uk


Media Contacts


OakNorth Bank:

Valentina Kristensen, Director, Growth & Communications – [email protected]


Third Space / ]KSL Capital Partners:

Jon Keehner / Kate Thompson / Erik Carlson

Joele Frank, Wilkinson Brimmer Katcher

[email protected]

+1 (212) 355-4449


Searchlight Capital: Prosek Partners – [email protected] /  0796 476 3311

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