Regus Owner IWG Buys Majority Stake in Office Startup The Wing
(Bloomberg) -- IWG Plc has bought a stake in female focused co-working startup The Wing, as it looks to take advantage of the pandemic fallout to snap up smaller rivals.
Switzerland-based IWG, which pioneered flexible offices more than 30-years ago under the Regus brand, has injected an undisclosed sum into the company to facilitate its growth, according to an emailed statement Thursday. The deal gives IWG a majority stake in the New York based startup, people familiar with the terms said, asking not to be identified as the details aren’t public.
A spokesman for IWG declined to comment on the size of the stake.
“Partnering with IWG provides an exciting opportunity to expand our spaces and network designed for women during a time of increasing demand for alternative work environments in the midst of the pandemic and shifting workplace norms,” Lauren Kassan, co-founder of The Wing, said in the statement.
The coronavrius pandemic has hit flexible office companies hard, exposing the mismatch in the short-term deals they offer tenants and the long-term leases they sign with landlords. IWG sold shares in May as it sought to take advantage of the upheaval on smaller rivals.
The Wing cut about half of its staff in the early weeks of the pandemic as it sought to ride out the impact of lockdowns, Bloomberg News reported in April.
The company was previously backed by WeWork Cos., which invested in 2017, two-years before its botched initial public offering. WeWork later sold its stake in January 2020 in a deal that valued the business at about $165 million.
Other investors include venture capital funds managed by Google Ventures and Sequoia Capital, according to the statement.
IWG has slashed locations this year even as it has been picking off smaller rivals. The company set aside 160 million pounds ($228 million) for costs related to shutting down sites, according to a filing last month.
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