Regus lodges £65.6m counter-bid for MWB Business Exchange

Regus, the global provider of flexible office space, has upped their offer for the acquisition of MWB Business Exchange by over a third, in order to hold off competition from MWB shareholder Pyrrho Investments.

As reported by Search Office Space on Monday, Regus’ £40m December bid for MWB Business Exchange was blown out of the water by a counter-bid of £65m from Hong-Kong based investment agency Pyrrho.

Pyrrho’s billionaire owner, Anson Chan, tabled a last minute £65m cash bid for the London-based portfolio of 70 flexible office units – only hours before the midnight deadline. Regus, however, had secured ‘matching rights’ on the bidding process, enabling them to table a further offer that surpassed any later bid by at least £500,000 by close of play on Wednesday.

The new offer of £65.6m represents a £600,000 increase on the amount bid by Pyrrho – who already own a 17% stake in MWB Business Exchange – and seemingly confirms Regus’ status as the new proprietors of MWB Business Exchange, as neither Pyrrho, nor any other third party, was able to secure the same ‘matching rights’ on the offer.

Regus’ final offer will see them pay 101.0233p per share for the company, up from the original offer of 61.576p, which would have represented a premium of around 20% on the value of MWB Business Exchange’s stock as of the date of the offer, December 20th.

Representatives are yet to announce what Pyrrho intend to do with their share of the company, with any sale now likely to result in an improved remuneration package for the company. Parent company MWB Group owned a 75% stake in MWB Business Exchange until the property group failed to re-finance their debts in November, resulting in a slide into administration.

Regus have already stated that there will be efforts made to streamline the MWB Business Exchange portfolio, which is likely to result in a proportion of their 500 staff losing their jobs.

International independent financial advisers Rothschild advised Regus’ subsidiary Marley Acquisitions Ltd on the deal.

Regus’ shares on the FTSE 250 rose as a result of the news, up 1.8% to 129.8p by the close of trading on Tuesday.

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