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Convene Gets Capital Infusion, Takes Over SaksWorks Coworking Operations For Hudson's Bay

Convene's meeting location at 255 Liberty in New York City.

A global flexible office, meeting venue and restaurant operator is taking over locations of SaksWorks flex office portfolio and getting major institutional capital for an additional expansion.

Convene recapitalized its portfolio and has taken over operations of SaksWorks for the retail company Hudson's Bay Co., which operated three coworking facilities hosted inside two Saks Fifth Avenue locations in New York and a Ruby & Bella's restaurant in Greenwich, Connecticut, according to its website. Those locations were previously operated by WeWork. SaksWorks indicates that it was planning a fourth location in Westchester, New York.

HBC will be the majority owner, along with a capital infusion from the private equity firm Ares, of the 26 Convene global locations with plans to grow its flex meeting, events and workspace business in key urban and suburban markets. It will become the largest premium flex space operator in North America and Europe, according to a press release. All locations will eventually be rebranded under the Convene banner.

“We built Convene with a mission of elevating the workday experience. This strategic investment by HBC and Ares provides instant scale and growth opportunities for our business," said Ryan Simonetti, co-founder and CEO of Convene, in the release. "As organizations continue to embrace hybrid work and are demanding higher quality environments in which to gather, we are well-positioned to seize this moment."

The move comes nearly six months after Amy Sterner Nelson left as president of SaksWorks, according to a previous Commercial Observer report. Nelson was president from July to October of 2021, according to Commercial Observer.

In the press release, Convene said it plans to capitalize on the growing reliance on coworking, on-site culinary offerings, premium meeting and event venues and hybrid technology as businesses reimagine their office footprints and hybrid work strategies. Convene operates locations currently at the Willis Tower in Chicago, One Boston Place, 530 Fifth Avenue in Midtown, New York City, 600 14th St. in D.C. and plans for a location at 22 Bishopsgate in London, according to its website. In the press release, Convene officials say it has 26 locations under management and “dozens more under development.”  

“With this transaction, Convene will expand its footprint into suburban markets, where people can work and meet closer to home,” HBC Properties & Investments Chief Operating Officer Hamid Hashemi said in the release.