Thai fitness centre chain facing bankruptcy

30 Apr 2012

Leading Thai fitness operator, California WOW Xperience (CAWOW), has been taken to court by its principal creditor. Bangkok Bank is suing the proprietors of the company for bankruptcy because they have not repaid debts of 72 million Baht and also the outstanding 4 million Baht in interest accrued on the principal.

The amount owing is almost 10 per cent of CAWOW’s total assets according to 2011 year end accounting reports. The financial statement showed total assets at 839 million Baht. Last Wednesday, in accordance with Thai law, the gym operator reported the Bangkok Bank court case to officials at the Stock Exchange of Thailand.

CAWOW also said the lawsuit would cause some problems as it would not be able to take out any additional loans, but that the fitness centre chain was making progress on its remedial plan to reach profitability.  

CAWOW was originally established by California Fitness boss Eric Levine to operate fitness centres in Thailand and South Korea in the early years of the new millennium. In August 2008, the two parted company and CAWOW then operated as a separate entity.  

CAWOW has achieved a certain infamy over the past few years. Patrons claim they had been sold lifetime memberships for use of the chain’s facilities and courses at their local centre, just before it closed down.

One of CAWOW’s fitness centres on Bangkok’s Sukhumvit Soi 31 was a high profile casualty of this practice. The 160 million Baht fitness centre opened to great acclaim in 2006, yet has since shut up shop.

Tags: fitness chain bankruptcy

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