Monday 18 June 2018

IWG rebuffs fifth takeover approach

The Regus owner has turned down an offer from a US investor.

Serviced office providers are growing fast (PA)
Serviced office providers are growing fast (PA)

By Helen Cahill, Press Association City Reporter

Regus owner IWG has rejected a fifth takeover approach, turning down a cash offer from US investor Prime Opportunities.

Prime Opportunities said on Tuesday that IWG, a serviced office provider, had rejected its overture, which involved a consortium of investors.

It comes after IWG spurned offers from from Lone Star Europe, Starwood Capital and TDR Capital earlier this month.

IWG was also the subject of a takeover attempt by Brookfield Asset Management and Canadian private equity firm Onex in December, which sent its share price up 30%.

Talks over the joint bid collapsed at the beginning of February, with reports suggesting IWG founder Mark Dixon wanted to sell the company but was blocked by other directors.

Richard Morris, UK chief executive of IWG, said: “The growth potential of the market is phenomenal. Lots of people are excited about it.

“There has been a lot of investment and we expect this to continue.”

On Tuesday, the takeover offer from Prime Opportunities sent IWG’s shares up 2.3% or 7p to 311.3p.

The London-listed group has serviced offices in around 120 countries, and hopes to extend its network of flexible office spaces. The group operates brands including Regus, Open Office and Signature.

Mr Morris said that while flexible offices now represent less than 10% of the commercial office market, this could rise to up to 40% as businesses seek more flexibility to save costs.

“Our difference is the fact that we provide a network of 350 to 400 locations which can be accessed by our members,” he said.

“No other provider in our market is building a series of networks that combine to create a global network.”

Press Association

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