Onex, Brookfield drop pursuit of U.K. office firm IWG: Reuters

Canadian private equity firm Onex Corp and Brookfield Asset Management said on Thursday they do not intend to make an offer for IWG plc, sending shares of the British serviced office provider down more than 20 percent.

IWG, the company behind the Regus brand, which runs offices in about 3,000 locations in more than 1,000 cities, said in December it had received a bid approach from Onex and Brookfield but did not disclose details.

The consortium had until 1700 GMT on February 2 to formally bid for the company, after Britain’s Takeover Panel extended the deadline last month. The Canadian consortium said that following discussions with the board and management of IWG it had decided not to make an offer.

Shares of IWG had jumped 27 percent when the bid approach was announced. They fell as much as 23.2 percent on Thursday and were down 15.5 percent at 224.4 pence at 1539 GMT.

IWG confirmed that discussions had ended and said it remained confident in its prospects as an independent company. The bid approach came after IWG warned on full-year profit in October, citing a weaker London market and disruption due to natural disasters in the United States.

In a separate trading update on Thursday, IWG said it saw an improvement in its business in the final months of 2017 and it expected its results for the year ended December 31 to be in line with previous guidance.

Update: Last month, Bloomberg reported the proposed bid for IWG by Onex and Brookfield would value the company at about 2.7 billion pounds (US$3.7 billion).

(Reporting by Radhika Rukmangadhan in Bengaluru; Editing by Adrian Croft and Susan Fenton)

(This story has been edited by Kirk Falconer, editor of PE Hub Canada)

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