Office Designer Acquired By Hong Kong’s PAG

Office Designer Acquired By Hong Kong’s PAG

AUSTRALIA – PAG, a private equity firm headquartered in Hong Kong, has completed the acquisition of Unispace, a designer of business and commercial space based in Sydney, reported Mingtiandi on Wednesday afternoon (3 March, SGT).

The transaction provides PAG with full control over the office fit-out specialist, which has more than 600 employees in 48 cities across 27 countries, Unispace stated in its press release published on the same day.

Under the deal, existing stockholders will vacate their executive roles at Unispace. Other top leaders, including CEO Steven Quick, will retain their job, while PAG will appoint non-executives.

In December 2020, the Australian Financial Review (AFR) reported that executives & owners at the workplace designer have entered into a deal with PAG, wherein the private equity firm will buy Unispace for over A$300 million (US$234.6 million). This is after an earlier A$400 million deal with Australia’s CPE Capital fell through.

AFR thinks that PAG took advantage of its ties with a third party to secure the transaction. Notably, the private equity firm controls a 21.3 percent stake in Cushman & Wakefield (C&W) via its PAG Asia I fund, while Quick was C&W’s former Chief Executive for global occupier services prior to joining Unispace in September 2020.

Apart from being a deal-maker in mainland China, PAG’s Chairman & CEO Weijian Shan is also a major property investor in Asia Pacific (APAC), with US$31 billion of the private equity firm’ US$40 billion assets under management (AUM) being in line with its real estate investment strategies.

As the acquisition has been concluded, Unispace is positioned to leverage PAG’s extensive familiarity and experience on several Asian property markets, including India, China, Hong Kong, & 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,” commented the office fit-out specialist’s Managing Director for Asia, Toby Rakison.

Interestingly, Unispace has finished over 5,500 workplace projects, including jobs for multinational customers such as big 4 accounting firm PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) and medical device manufacturer Boston Scientific.

Although most of the APAC office space it designed is in New Zealand and Australia, the firm also took on jobs for the Singapore offices of telecom behemoth BT, software developer Anaplan, and travel management company CWT.

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