Co-working spaces US giant WeWork recently opened its new building in Milan in via Giuseppe Mazzini 9, a stone’s throw from the Duomo. This is WeWork’s fourth location in the city (see the press release here).
The completely renovated building is the former headquarters of the Banca Agricola Milanese and is spread over 7.7000 square meters on 9 floors. The interior renovation of the building was carried out by the D2U architecture studio. The property is owned by a fund managed by Bnp Paribas REIM Italy sgr, subscribed by Hines and PGGM Dutch Pension Fund. The Bnp Paribas fund bought the asset from the Milan Green Fund managed by Savills Investment Management sgr in July 2020 (see here a previous article by BeBeez) .
WeWork is already present in Milan also in the offices of via San Marco, 21 (in the former Corriere della Sera newspaper building now owned by the Delphine fund managed by Kryalos sgr), via Turati 4 (in a building owned by Allianz) and via Vittor Pisani 15 (in a building owned by Swiss Life, see here a previous article by BeBeez), while a fifth opening is scheduled for June 2022 in via Meravigli 2 (in a building owned by the Tiepolo fund managed by Generali Real Estate sgr) .
Muhannad Al Salhi, general manager of WeWork Italy and Spain commented: “One of our strengths is our location always in the city center and Via Mazzini 9 reflects this strategy, also representing great opportunities from a business point of view. Thanks to Its excellent transport links and its thriving neighborhood, we are betting to attract more and more companies to an area that has so far a powerful tourist and commercial aura, but whose potential for businesses has not been fully exploited”. And WeWork’s customers are also large companies, with more than 500 employees, today increasingly looking for flexible workspace solutions. These companies “now account for 54% of our members portfolio,” Muhannad added.
We recall that WeWork announced the business combination with US Spac BowX Acquisition Corp (see here a previous article by BeBeez), thus trying to go public on Wall Street after the failed 2019’s ipo, when it was even valued at 47 billion dollars (see here a previous article by BeBeez) and the subsequent bailout investment made by the Japanese Softbank which was already a major shareholder and that in that occasion had risen to 80% of the capital as the largest shareholder in the company (see here a previous article by BeBeez). For its business combination with BowX, WeWork has been valued at 9 billion dollars, including debt, and will raise about 1.3 billion dollars of new capital, of which 483 millions underwritten by the Spac (assuming zero withdrawals) and other 800 millions in a PIPE (public investment in public equity) subscribed by a group of investors including funds from Insight Partners, Starwood Capital Group, Fidelity Management & Research Company, Centaurus Capital and BlackRock. In addition to the equity, a 550 million euro loan facility will be made available by SoftBank Group.
Also in the same sector in recent days, IWG (International Workplace Group), another of the world’s leading managers of flexible workspaces, which also owns the Regus brand, announced the acquisition of Copernico Holding, an Italian network of flexible offices, coworking, meeting rooms and event spaces (see here a previous article by BeBeez).