Steve Nash Fitness World seeks creditor protection owing $35M

A trustee has been appointed and the fitness chain is putting together a proposal for creditors

The operator of Steve Nash Fitness World and Sports Club owes more than $35 million to creditors | Hayley Woodin

What happened: The company behind Steve Nash Fitness World and Sports Club has filed for creditor protection.

Why it matters: SNFW Fitness B.C. Ltd. owes more than $35 million to more than 140 creditors. The company has filed a notice of intention to file a proposal, which would outline how it plans to restructure the company.

The company behind Steve Nash Fitness World and Sports Club has filed for creditor protection as it works to restructure its business.

SNFW Fitness B.C. Ltd., which operates 27 facilities under Steve Nash and UFC Gym brands, owes more than $35 million to more than 140 creditors.

In a letter to creditors, company management said the COVID-19 pandemic has had a significant economic impact on the chain’s business, however court documents suggest the company owed significant debts prior to the coronavirus outbreak in B.C.

SNFW Fitness closed its locations and terminated all of its team members in March.

The company filed a notice of intention to make a proposal to its creditors on April 3.

We appreciate that at this difficult time, this decision adds another financial burden to you, our creditors. However, our intention with taking this step is to gain the necessary time, and flexibility to formulate a restructuring plan that will enable us to re-open our doors, and get back to the business of a healthy life, when this crisis is over,” the letter states.

SNFW Fitness’s largest creditor is the Bank of Montreal, which is owed $32 million, according to court documents.

Another 141 creditors are collectively owed $3.4 million. They include Google (owed more than $136,000) and Facebook, Inc. (owed nearly $182,000).

Larger local creditors include Burnaby-based Matra Construction Inc. (owed more than $820,000), Sandman Hotel Group (owed more than $94,000) and Fortis BC (owed more than $72,000).

Vancouver-based Worldgo Travel Management Ltd. is owed $25,242.64. The company booked SNFW Fitness's corporate travel, and co-founder Eric Sakawsky says the roughly two-year business relationship was all-in-all okay.

"What I guess in the end didn't really sit well is that they asked us if they could trade over their limit maybe a few weeks before they went under, and we said 'Yes,'" said Sakawsky. Worldgo allowed SNFW Fitness to spend above what was around a $15,000 limit, with the promise that an initial payment would come days later.

When it came time for payment, Sakawsky said the company told him that they wouldn't be able to release the funds.

"With travel being hit probably the hardest in all of this, it's definitely not ideal to – with everything else going on – to also have to now carry their loss."

SNFW Fitness has not returned repeated requests for comment.