August 6, 2018 / 6:41 AM / 4 months ago

Offices group IWG ends takeover discussions with remaining suitors

LONDON (Reuters) - IWG (IWG.L) has abandoned takeover talks with its three remaining suitors in a move that ends months of uncertainty about the future of the London-listed provider of serviced offices but sent its shares tumbling.

The FTSE 250 company said on Monday that it had dropped its negotiations with rivals Starwood Capital, TDR Capital and Terra Firma because it did not believe any of them could deliver a deal at a price that IWG could recommend to its shareholders.

The news sent IWG shares plunging 22 percent to 234.1 pence in morning trade in London, making the stock the second-heaviest faller in the mid-cap FTSE 250 index.

“The board remains confident in the long-term value of and opportunities for IWG,” the business behind the Regus offices brand said.

IWG has failed to agree a deal despite being circled by a host of potential buyers in recent months.

Canadian bidders Onex Corp (ONEX.TO) and Brookfield Asset Management (BAMa.TO) made a joint approach in December only for talks to collapse at the start of February.

Starwood, TDR and Lone Star then emerged as suitors in May, while U.S. firm Prime Opportunities made a bid later that month and Terra Firma, the private equity firm founded by financier Guy Hands, entered the running in June.

Talks with Lone Star and Prime Opportunities ended in June and July respectively.

The termination of negotiations with IWG’s three remaining suitors on Monday came as the company posted a 33 percent fall in first-half pre-tax profits to 54.3 million pounds ($70.6 million).

Revenue for the six months to June 30 rose 2.9 percent to 1.2 billion pounds.

Reporting by Ben Martin; editing by Emelia Sithole-Matarise and Jason Neely

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