Bally Feels the Heat to Sell

Bally Total Fitness is feeling the pressure from one stockholder group to sell the company, according to a report in The

Emanuel Pearlman, who led the effort earlier this summer by Liberation Investment Group LLC to submit governance proposals at the Bally annual meeting this summer, told The that he was considering efforts to overhaul Bally management.

Pearlman’s group had reached an agreement with Bally prior to the annual meeting on July 29 that caused Pearlman to pull the governance proposals, chief among which was the separation of the offices of CEO and chairman of the board—both positions held by Paul Toback. Pearlman’s new efforts stem from Bally’s postponement in August of issuance of its second-quarter results and from a $100,000 raise given to Toback, whose annual salary after the raise will be $575,000.

In the meantime, Bally shares have dropped from $20 per share two years ago to about $3.95 per share today.

The is reporting that possible buyers could include Bruckmann, Rosser, Sherrill & Co LLC, which is a New York private equity firm that owns Town Sports International. Another potential buyer could include 24 Hour Fitness Worldwide Inc., according to the report.

Liberation Investment Group LLC is a Los Angeles-based hedge fund that owns 6.7 percent of Bally Total Fitness.

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