Livingstone Partners has landed a mandate to handle the sale of MML Capital-backed The Instant Group, a UK-based provider of flexible office solutions, two sources briefed on and a banker following the situation said.
The process is at an early stage, the first source and the banker said.
Given growth potential in the business, The Instant Group is likely still to be attractive to private equity buyers, a sector banker said. However, potential strategic buyers could include Los Angeles, California-headquartered CBRE [NYSE:CBG], Chicago, Illinois-based Cushman & Wakefield and London, UK-based Savills [LON:SVS], this banker added.
The company’s 2016 EBITDA came to approximately GBP 5m – GBP 6m, the second source and a sector banker said. However, it is being marketed off GBP 10m in EBITDA, the first source said.
Regis Group, a UK and US-based real estate private equity player, is among The Instant Group’s key competitors, the first source said.
The Instant Group’s business is two-fold, as it offers property services and an online platform, the sector banker said. Property services include managed workspaces, while the instantoffices.com platform offers an online office brokerage system.
Established in 1999 by former CEO Rob Hamilton, The Instant Group secured investment from MML in 2012, when the sponsor agreed to buy a 40% minority stake in the business for GBP 15m. Its FY12 revenue came to GBP 22m, 30% higher than the year before, MML said when announcing its investment. It has achieved 23% compound growth over the past four years, according to The Instant Group’s website.
The Instant Group is headquartered in London, and has further offices in Newcastle, Berlin, Dallas, New York, San Francisco, Hong Kong and Sydney. It has more than 180 employees and clients in 113 countries.
MML Capital, The Instant Group, Livingstone Partners and CBRE did not return requests for comments. Cushman & Wakefield and Savills declined to comment.
by Amy-Jo Crowley and Auri Aittokallio