Belfast Telegraph

IWG shares surge 30% after office space group confirms takeover approach

An approach has been made by Brookfield Asset Management and Onex.

Shares in International Workplace Group (IWG) have soared nearly 30% after the office space group confirmed a takeover approach that analysts say could spur further interest in the firm.

IWG – which operates brands including Regus, Open Office and Signature – has been approached by Brookfield Asset Management and Canadian private equity firm Onex with a “possible cash offer”, though the amount was not disclosed.

Brookfield and Onex now have until January 20 to put forward a firm offer for IWG, though the group stressed “there can be no certainty that any offer will be made for the company”.

That did not temper investor excitement over the prospective bid, with shares in IWG surging more than 29% or 59.5p to 259.7 in mid-morning trading.

Peel Hunt equity analyst Andrew Shepherd-Barron said: “Much depends on founder Mark Dixon’s attitude, but the approach announced today could lead to IWG finally being taken over after a long and frequently volatile relationship with the equity market.”

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The now-confirmed bid may prompt other interested parties to come out of the woodwork.

“The approach is from private equity at the moment, but we see potential bidders from a range of parties, including global real estate developers, or those with a global ambition, to other industry players – although private equity is much the most likely in our view,” Mr Shepherd-Barron said.

IWG – which has a portfolio of around 3,000 locations in 1,000 cities across the world – has the benefit of being a “global brand” with “established positions in every country”, he added.

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