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Deals & Dealmakers

Blackstone acquires majority interest in British WeWork competitor

Blackstone Real Estate Partners Europe V as acquired a majority interest in the Office Group, the WeWork of the UK, in a deal valued at over $600 million.

Lloyd Dorfman, together with the co-founders Charlie Green and Olly Olsen, will remain shareholders in the group post-transaction and Green and Olsen will continue in their existing roles as co-CEOs of TOG.

TOG is a leading provider of design-led, flexible workspace and pioneered the concept in Britain. Today TOG has 36 buildings, mainly across central London, housing a growing and diverse client base of over 15,000 members. TOG clients currently include AOL, Dropbox and Pinterest, as well as large corporates such as British Gas, and Santander.

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. We are excited about this opportunity and look forward to working with the team to capitalise on the sector’s continued growth.”

Olly Olsen said: “Demand for flexible workspace continues to grow in the UK and globally. We are very excited, together with our new partner, Blackstone, to move onto the next phase of our development which will allow us to accelerate TOG’s growth. We will do this by continuing to open new locations and defining new and innovative ways of addressing how people wish to work.”

Green added: “Olly and I founded TOG in 2003. Since 2010, under Lloyd Dorfman’s stewardship, TOG has grown from seven buildings to 36, and we thank Lloyd for his investment and all his support. This is the start of a new and very exciting era for TOG.”

Dorfman CBE, said, “In my seven years with the business, we have significantly expanded the portfolio and client base. TOG is a dynamic and innovative business, with buildings in optimal locations operating in a market whose time has come. 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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