Regus Buys Up Regent and Corporate Office Centers

OfficingToday has just learned that Regent Business Centers and Corporate Office Centers have been bought out by Regus. There has been buzz about this move for the last couple of months but our sources tell us it is now official. Who’s next?

The business center industry has long been dominated by Regus and it appears the market share leader continues its jaw dropping rampage with this acquisition that, within one day, has increased their size by an amount equal to 40% the size of Servcorp! The acquisition pace has slowed over the last few years and now appears to have come roaring back.

Brian MacMahon, CEO of YourOfficeAgent, concurs, “This industry consolidation has been happening for 30 years but it’s excellent to see aggressive growth again after a few slow acquisition years,” he said.

To those spirited independents out there, we’ve asked the question numerous times — what is the future? What are your plans to compete with the power and capital of this monolithic powerhouse with seemingly endless cash reserves and the chutzpah to go along with it? How can Regus, with its less than 10% of the industry square footage, continue to “wag the dog” of the massive numbers of independents?

Frank Cottle, CEO/Chairman of Alliance Business Centers Network would like to see the independents step up to the plate with more innovation and niche development.

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“Regus’ global acquisition spree has been building for a long time; and we see it as further evidence of the growing strength within our industry overall. What will be interesting to watch, will be those other ‘Super-Regional’ Serviced Office operators who are quietly doing the same. One other item to consider in all this; is that while Regus is gobbling up centers left and right, in order for them to merely grow by 10% they need to buy or build about 120 centers per year. Our industry overall is growing at about 15%; and many operators are growing much faster than that. So, in order of percentage growth magnitude, Regus is only keeping pace with the industry at large.”

As we head into the heart of the holidays, we’ll have our minds on family, dinners, and celebrating the season. But when we return, there’s a new year waiting, and business centers need to roll up their sleeves and get their enterprising jets firing to strengthen their own niches and find unique ways to keep the competition and our market place healthy.

As Brian MacMahon added, “Some will see this [Regus] as the 800 pound gorilla adding a few too many pounds. But we love this because when the 800 pounder gets bigger the other smart monkeys soon follow suit. Roll on a very interesting 2013.”

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