Sherpa Capital, a leading private equity company that invests in mid-sized companies facing new strategic challenges, has taken a majority stake in Busining, one of the benchmark operators in coworking spaces.
Sherpa Capital will lead an ambitious expansion plan of more than € 20 million that aims to make Busining the company with the largest implementation at national level, with 30 centres that will add more than 70,000 m2 distributed throughout the Iberian Peninsula, including all major regional capitals.
Under this growth plan, Sherpa Capital will have a majority stake in Busining and the founder Óscar García Toledo will continue with a relevant participation and management of the company. Haya Capital, M&A boutique that has advised the transaction, will make a minority investment.
Oscar García Toledano, Busining CEO says: “The entry of Sherpa Capital in Busining will not only allow us to grow in locations and square meters, but also in efficiency and structure to be able to give our clients a wider range of high added-value services that will facilitate even more their day-to-day.”
Jorge Fernández Miret, partner of Sherpa Capital: “we are very satisfied with this investment because the coworking sector has great prospects, both nationally and internationally. Our goal is to support a management team that has demonstrated its high capacity to launch an exciting project, which we are delighted to join.”
Gómez Acebo y Pombo has taken part in the transaction, advising the buyer, and Haya Capital and Gold Abogados have advised the seller.
Significant presence in Madrid
Busining currently has a strong presence in Madrid, with more than 12,000 Sqm of flexible workspaces distributed in five centers. Four of them are located at prime locations of the Spanish capital, such as the last floor of Torre Europa, one of the most emblematic skyscrapers of the financial district of Azca; on Calle O’Donell next to Retiro, the most exclusive green area of Madrid; its new opening at Torre Titán in Méndez Álvaro, one of the main communication hubs of the capital with direct access to the M-30 orbital motorway; and the flagship centre on the María de Molina street, a five-storey space with a business lounge that can directly be accessed at street level, located in the luxurious Salamanca district.The fifth center is located in Pozuelo de Alarcón, 20 minutes away from Madrid, in the Business Park “La Finca”, one of the most exclusive in Europe and known as the Spanish Silicon Valley because it is home to many technological firms.
Flexible office spaces, a clearly booming business
With ten years of experience, Busining is the pioneer in Spain in flexible workspaces and co-working. The company has designed a disruptive business model adapted to the revolution in work habits that is being experienced worldwide.
Coworking is the tip of the iceberg of a profound social change, where the search for flexibility is key, with large corporations leading this change.The main advantage of flexible offices compared to traditional ones is the evident flexibility of this alternative, which eliminates the commitment to long-term rental contracts, allowing tenants to adapt the space they need to the size their company has at any given time. This way, office space is never a limitation for growth.
In addition, it allows entrepreneurs and SMEs the opportunity to access the advantages of a large corporation at affordable prices, including a network of offices in different geographies, spacious meeting and training rooms, common spaces to socialize equipped with all kinds of amenities, front desks with receptionists, professional backoffice teams, technical service and maintenance, and, above all, the possibility of requesting any personalized service at any time.
Large corporations, meanwhile, have proven that these spaces maximize their teams’ productivity.They make it easy for them to dedicate their resources to what really adds value to their core business without having to worry about the rest. Furthermore, the productive and innovative capacity of their teams is triggered by removing them from the corporate dynamics and introducing them into a vibrant ecosystem made up of professionals from diverse profiles that make up a community with potential to share not only knowledge, ideas and experiences, but also all kinds of businesses and services.
Global growth of 50% in 2017
The flexible workspace sector is in rapid expansion after experiencing 50% growth rates around the world last year.In Spain, the sector underwent an accelerated boom in 2016, and both 2017 and 2018 have been years of consolidation of this growth, with the irruption of international players such as Spaces or Wework. Some of the major Spanish real estate groups have also recently made investments in the sector, such as Colonial in Utopicus or Merlin Properties in Twisttt.
In addition, there is consensus in the sector when stating that coworking has long-term growth prospects. In the United Kingdom, where flexible office space accounts for 4% of the total offer, around 21% of office spaces rented in 2017 were of this type. This trend is even more intense in the main Spanish cities, such as Madrid and Barcelona, where this type of spaces represents only between 0.5% and 1% of the total office stock, far from the 10% that is expected it will reach in the medium term.
On the other hand, this dynamism is beginning to translate into relevant corporate transactions, including the acquisition of The Office Group by Blackstone and Carlyle’s investment in Uncommon, two deals that took place in 2017 in the United Kingdom.
About Sherpa Capital:
Sherpa Capital is a private equity firm pioneer in Spain, leader in investments in small and medium-sized companies that face new financial, operational or strategic challenges.Sherpa Capital combines the capabilities and financial resources of a private equity firm with the business experience of an operational team, which is unique in the sector.Currently, Sherpa Capital is managing funds of more than € 250 million and its investment strategy focuses on companies with significant growth potential, both organic and inorganic, but which need financial and operational resources to support them in the challenges they face.