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Weight Watchers Inc. is weighed down by a heavy debt of $2.3 billion

Reuters Weight Watchers International Inc., the company devoted to help people shed weight since 1960s is carrying a debt of $2.3 billion. A business model that has failed to evolve with contemporary trends, competition from technology-supported fitness apps like MyFitnessPal Inc. are reasons being cited for the slowdown of the firm. These and other such issues could also affect a potential exit route, namely a sale to another private equity investor, according to industry experts. The company recent bought Weilos Inc, an online social media start up for mobile health and weight-loss community, as a move to embrace the digital revolution. Weight Watchers has an upcoming debt payment of about $300 million in 2016, and $2.1 billion due in 2020. This heavy debt load is also party attributed to its majority equity holder Artal Luxembourg SA, which backed it via its private equity investment adviser Invus Group. The investment has paid off handsomely for Artal and Invus, but poses challenges for Weight Watchers as it fights to adapt to changing consumer habits.


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