Australian workplace designer Unispace said Wednesday that it had finalised a transaction with Hong Kong-based private equity firm PAG for the sale of the company.
The deal gives PAG a 100 percent equity stake in the office fit-out specialist, which employs over 600 people at offices in 48 cities across 27 countries, Unispace said in a release.
“As Unispace continues to expand in the next phase of its business maturity, PAG is the ideal partner to support and realise this growth potential through leveraging synergies, as well as their extensive global networks,” said Unispace chief executive Steven Quick. “By strengthening our business with an investment partnership, we will also be able to build our team, and better support the needs of current and future clients in a more strategic way.”
The deal under PAG’s buyout strategy adds to its holdings in Australia, where the company has previously invested in F&B operators Craveable Brands and The Cheesecake Shop, as well as Rex Airlines. The firm led by mainland deal-maker Weijian Shan is a major investor in real estate across Asia Pacific, with $31 billion of the group’s $40 billion in assets under management falling under its property strategies.
Done and Dusted
Under the agreement, current shareholders will leave executive roles at Unispace, the company said. Other senior executives and management, including Quick, will remain in their current roles. Non-executives will be appointed by PAG to provide additional support.
The Australian Financial Review reported last December that owners and executives had reached a deal in which PAG would acquire Unispace for more than A$300 million ($234.6 million), following the collapse of an earlier agreement for Unispace to be bought out by Australia’s CPE Capital for A$400 million.
AFR speculated that PAG was leveraging its relationship with a third party in clinching the deal: PAG holds a 21.3 percent equity stake in Cushman & Wakefield through the PAG Asia I fund, and Quick served as CEO of global occupier services at the agency before joining Unispace last September.
With the buyout complete, Unispace is positioned to tap PAG’s depth of knowledge and experience in several Asian real estate markets, including China, India, Hong Kong and Singapore.
“Asia is a key expansion region for Unispace, so we are predicting that working alongside such an established group with unparalleled local market presence and extensive experience in the region will accelerate our growth here,” said Toby Rakison, managing director for Asia at Unispace.
Sydney-based Unispace has completed more than 5,500 workplace projects, including jobs for international clients like medical device maker Boston Scientific and professional services group PwC.
While most of its Asia Pacific track record is in Australia and New Zealand, Unispace has designed offices in Singapore for travel management firm CWT, software developer Anaplan and telecom giant BT.
PAG hailed Unispace’s ability to create leading workplace designs and build a company with a unique global footprint.
“Our investment will facilitate Unispace’s plans for further global expansion and build on an already successful business,” said PAG chairman and chief executive Weijian Shan. “We believe our extensive experience in real estate and property management investments will bring tremendous value to support the growth of Unispace.”