Thursday 20 September 2018

Brace of private equity houses look to book into Regus

IWG is the world's largest operator of short-term office space
IWG is the world's largest operator of short-term office space

Jack Sidders

IWG Plc rose the most in about five months in London trading after the serviced-office company said it has attracted interest from three possible buyers.

The world's largest operator of short-term office space climbed as much as 24pc to 311.9 pence each, the most since December 27. The company - which owns the Regus brand - said after markets closed last Friday that it had received an approach from Lone Star Funds and two separate "indicative proposals" from Starwood Capital Group and TDR Capital.

IWG disclosed the approaches "without the permission of the three firms", Bloomberg analyst Sue Munden said. "While it's more transparent, it's obviously designed to create pricing tension."

Private-equity firms from Blackstone to Carlyle have been investing in the co-working and serviced-office market as companies seek more flexibility and shorter leases. WeWork, which has won backing from Japan's SoftBank, is valued at $20bn (€16.67bn). IWG's board is evaluating the offers, the company said in a statement on Friday after its stock rose 10pc. It didn't disclose the terms of the approaches. Earlier this year, Brookfield Asset Management and Onex dropped an attempt to jointly acquire the company.

IWG has been vulnerable to a takeover approach after a profit warning last year, citing weakness in London. Trading has recovered since. (Bloomberg)

Irish Independent

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