Looking back over 2015, there were numerous mergers and acquisitions within the London serviced office market. What does that tell you about the flexible workspace industry?
It tells quite a story. For a sector that found its feet in the 1980s, survived more than one recession and expanded by two-thirds over the past decade alone, that’s quite an achievement. Add in a significant amount of new market entrants and a regular dose of mergers and acquisitions, and you’ve got a growing, thriving industry that’s showing no signs of slowing down.
Let’s take a look at some of the most prominent mergers and acquisitions that rocked the London serviced office market in 2015:
Avanta and Regus
Regus is the biggest name in serviced office space, with around 3,000 centres worldwide and over 100 serviced office centres in London alone. In April 2015, it was revealed that Regus had acquired Avanta – a leading business centre operator with close to 30 serviced office locations in Central London and Reading.
The acquisition was successful, or so Regus thought. Currently, the Competition & Markets Authority (CMA) is investigating the merger over “concerns about competition” in five areas of Central London, including serviced offices in Hammersmith, Victoria, Canary Wharf/Docklands, Euston/King’s Cross and Paddington.
Whilst the investigation is ongoing, the latest published information states that “the undertakings offered by Regus, or a modified version of them, might be accepted by the CMA” – suggesting that the merger will eventually be finalised, albeit with some changes and a longer-than-expected completion date.
Take a look at some of Avanta’s properties, including this impressive Mayfair serviced office at Hanover Square and this smart business centre on Sackville Street. There are scores of Regus properties throughout Central and Greater London, including these serviced offices in Covent Garden on Long Acre, Floral Street and Chandos Place.
Ventia Offices and The Boutique Workplace Company
For a company that was only founded in January this year, the Boutique Workplace Company has wasted no time in making its presence known.
The organisation, which is part of the Moorgarth Property Group owned by South African retail entrepreneur Christo Wiese, has bought Ventia Offices, itself a boutique operator of design-led serviced offices in Central London. Ventia operates 22 serviced offices in London’s West End, Midtown, The City, Wimbledon, and Bristol.
The acquisition meant The Boutique Workplace Company began controlling over 2,500 workspaces across Central London with immediate effect – including this stunning property on Soho Square, and this superb Grade II listed serviced office in The City.
Clarendon Business Centres and Reflex Managed Offices
What does it take for a company to double virtually overnight? That’s the power of an acquisition, and it’s one that Clarendon Business Centres successfully achieved in December 2015.
The company has been steadily expanding in Central London over the past few years, with prime serviced office locations like this beautiful business centre at Marble Arch – part of a stunning collection of design-led serviced offices in London.
As for Reflex Managed Offices, this successful workspace operator began life in 1999 and expanded to 16 buildings over a 15-year period. At sale point, their portfolio comprised 50,000 sq ft of prime central London office space in the West End and Midtown, which more than doubled Clarendon’s collection of 12 centres in London and the South East.
Clarendon’s managing director Julian Cooper said: “It gives us a major foothold in the prime central London market, a market in which we expect to continue to expand and in which we will be seeking more exciting opportunities.” What a way to kick off 2016!
You can find out more about these fantastic serviced offices and dozens more like them on the pages of LondonOffices.com, or speak to one of our expert advisors for up-to-the-minute advice on the latest serviced office availability in Central London.