IWG working on potential break-up – report

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The boss of IWG PLG, parent company of the Regus and Spaces office chains, is looking at a potential break-up of the group, including a spin-off of the group’s app in the US.


As well as a potential separate listing for the Worka app, founder Mark Dixon is mulling options including separating the FTSE 250 group’s owned property and its franchising business, according to a report on Sky News.


Dixon believes breaking up the company could crystallise “significant value” for the company’s shareholders, the report suggested.


But analysts at broker Peel Hunt played down the chances of such moves.


“Insofar as IWG is always looking at ideas that might release value, we do not see these as particularly useful,” said Andrew Shepherd-Barron in a note to clients.


“Unless the app is also used to book third-party space (we are not aware that it does), we do not see it as having a separable value.”


He added that IWG’s owned real estate assets are “of limited value” and “more easily sold than separately listed”.


But he said making further master franchise sales would be “much more significant” if they were at a healthy premium to asset values.


The analyst said he does not expect significant deals until the impact of the current working from home trend becomes clearer on the demand for serviced offices.


“The possible flotation of WeWork might bring an interesting read-across for valuation, but this is not confirmed.”

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