Contact Us

What Next For IWG As Takeover Talks Collapse?

Interior look of IWG's No18 coworking operation

Takeover talks for the the world’s largest flexible office firm have collapsed after bidders did not meet the company’s valuation.

Shares in IWG, which owns Regus among other serviced office brands, fell by as much as 20% Monday after the company revealed that bids from Starwood Capital, TDR and Terra Firma did not reach its valuation. The company's share price had indicated the market was expecting a bid of $3.8B or more.

At the same time as announcing the end of takeover talks, the firm said pre-tax profit for the first half of the year was £54M, 33% lower than the same period in 2017, as a result of expansion and refurbishment costs.

Analysts pointed out that the management clearly had a different view on the value of the company than its potential buyers. One or the other will be proved right in the coming months and years.

"If you consider that IWG has been in talks with multiple potential partners but failed to agree terms with any of them; either it's reflective of management's confidence in the future growth or they're holding out for too high a price,” Chief Market Analyst Neil Wilson said. "They clearly have an eye on the kind of valuation that WeWork enjoys and think they should be achieving something similar. But this corporate Penelope may be playing it too cool."

“Given that all bidders faced the challenge of gauging how much further the aggressive action of WeWork and others will go before levelling off and eventually easing, and that earnings were recently downgraded, this was an exercise in catching a falling knife,” Peel Hunt analyst Andrew Shepherd-Barron said in a note to clients.

Green Street Advisors analyst Hemant Kotak said in a report last month that growth prospects are grim given the company’s operating performance and the cost of upgrading its estate, Bloomberg reports.