Fitness retailer Sweaty Betty reportedly preparing to sell itself

Women’s activewear retailer Sweaty Betty is preparing to put itself on the block, according to people with knowledge of the matter.

The London-based company could fetch about 400 million pounds ($524 million) in a transaction, according to one of the people, who asked not to be identified because the deliberations are private. Potential suitors could include large retailers or a private equity firm, another of the people said.

One of the company’s largest backers is consumer-focused private equity firm L Catterton, which invested in Sweaty Betty in 2015. Sweaty Betty was founded by Tamara Hill-Norton and Simon Hill-Norton and opened its first location in 1998. It has more than 60 stores across the U.K., U.S., Canada and Hong Kong, its website shows.

A spokeswoman for L Catterton declined to comment, and representatives for Sweaty Betty didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment.

Activewear has proved to be a relatively resilient corner of the retail sector as consumers largely remain house-bound due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Lululemon Athletica Inc. shares have climbed about 56% this year, outperforming the 4.5% gain by the S&P 500 index.

Gymshark Ltd., another activewear brand, last week said General Atlantic was investing at a valuation of more than 1 billion pounds. “People are so much more health-conscious now than they have been in the past,” Gymshark founder Ben Francis said in an interview with Bloomberg Radio.

In June, activewear retailer Outdoor Voices said it raised a round of funding from NaHCO3, the investment platform of Ashley Merrill, who founded sleepwear brand Lunya.