Blackstone buys flexible workspace specialist The Office Group

Blackstone has bought The Office Group in a deal that values the flexible workspace specialist at £500m (€572m).

Blackstone’s latest European real estate fund, which raised €7.8bn from investors this year, has bought a majority interest from entrepreneur and Travelex founder Lloyd Dorfman.

The Office Group is one of a number of firms pioneering London’s flexible office and co-working market.

The deal comes days after The Carlyle Group, another US private equity company, bought a London co-working office platform from the Adir Group.

The Blackstone investment values The Office Group, which wast established in 2003 by Charlie Green and Olly Olsen, at £500m. Green and Olsen will remain shareholders in the company and will continue to work as co-CEOs.

Anthony Myers, head of European real estate at Blackstone, said: “The traditional workspace is being redefined in gateway cities across the globe, as evolving business practices increase demand for flexible office space to suit the needs of the discerning modern occupier.”

The Office Group has 36 buildings, mainly in central London, with more than 15,000 members. Its clients include technology companies AOL, Dropbox and Pinterest, and large corporates British Gas, and Santander.

Olsen said Blackstone’s backing would enable the company “to move onto the next phase of our development”, which will include opening new locations.

Dorfman said: “In my seven years with the business, we have significantly expanded the portfolio and client base.”

The Office Group had buildings “in optimal locations operating in a market whose time has come”, he said.

“London is the leading city in the world for flexible office space while current trends in the labour market show growing appetite for this type of work environment.”

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