Serviced Office Group Acquires Avanta Managed Offices

Avanta Managed Offices Limited, a flexible workspace operator with a portfolio of high quality locations across the UK, has been acquired by Serviced Office Group plc (SOG) for £15 million.

The conditional agreement between Avanta and SOG will see Avanta’s 17 business centres combined with SOG’s portfolio of 20, leading to SOG becoming one of the largest serviced office providers in the UK with the majority of their business centres located in Central London.

The transaction, which is expected to complete on 29th July 2013, is the second major acquisition to take place within the flexible workspace sector this year. It comes after Regus officially acquired MWB Business Exchange in a high-profile bidding process that was settled earlier this year.

An official statement cites that Avanta’s current property portfolio, offering and service levels are expected to remain in place, with Avanta operating as part of the wider group. It is intended that Alan Pepper, CEO of Avanta, will become Chief Operating Officer of SOG, running the serviced office operation for the enlarged group. The Avanta management team will also have the opportunity to take up similar positions at SOG.

“Excellent fit”

Commenting on the acquisition, Avanta’s CEO Alan Pepper said: “This is a good deal for Avanta, its customers and employees. SOG and Avanta are an excellent fit, with a similar service ethos and a complementary office portfolio. Avanta customers will continue to receive flexible workspace in central London locations with market-leading levels of customer service and support, from the same award-winning team as they do now.”

He added: “With Avanta’s portfolio of office space, SOG will become one of the largest serviced office group providers in the UK by number of workstations.”

According to a statement, the acquisition is part of a drive by SOG to expand its London-based presence, where demand for flexible workspace continues to remain strong. The acquisition will create one of the largest suppliers of flexible workspace in the UK with a combined total of over 12,000 workstations across almost 978,000 sq ft of prime workspace.

Over 70% of this portfolio will be based in Central London, across Zones 1 and 2.

Daniel Taylor, Non-Executive Chairman of SOG, commented: “This acquisition represents a significant step in the transformation of the Group into one of the largest serviced office group providers in the UK by number of workstations. Avanta is hugely complementary to the Group and fits well with our strategy of increasing our focus on Central London. We believe the addition of Alan Pepper and his team will significantly strengthen our senior management and provide us with the additional capacity to further grow the business.”

Further details are expected following the completion of the transaction.

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