Carlyle launches UK co-working platform – exclusive

The Washington, DC-based private equity firm has made three acquisitions for its ‘Uncommon’ London flexible office and co-working vehicle. 

The Carlyle Group has made its first foray in the co-working sector by establishing a flexible office platform in London.

The private equity firm has completed three initial acquisitions in London, comprising an operating business and an 18,000-square-foot asset in Islington to be rebranded as ‘Uncommon,’ a 25,000-square-foot office asset in Borough and a 26,000-square-foot office building in Fulham. The Borough and Fulham properties are to be developed into new facilities and will increase the Uncommon platform to around 1,300 desks.

It is understood that the combined price of the three properties was approximately £50 million ($63.9 million; €57.2 million), with a total commitment to invest £150 million.

“As an emerging sector, we see the market for new concept working environments continuing to strengthen. An increasing number of businesses favor the flexibility and collaborative nature that this type of space offers,” said Peter Stoll, managing director at The Carlyle Group.

To establish the co-working platform, Carlyle is working with a joint venture partner, the Adir Group, on the management of Uncommon business and its facilities. The pair plan to expand the Uncommon flexible office and co-working platform over the next 18-24 months in locations across London with strong transport connections.

The firm said its workspaces offer a new product in the co-working space.

“Being both the owner of the property and owner-operator of the business sets us apart from the flexible office competition,” said Stoll.

Chris Davies, director at The Adir Group, added: “We want people to feel better about being at work, so we've applied the very latest thinking in sound design, aroma, ergonomics and the psychology of productivity. We don’t believe anyone else in the sector has taken such a close look at wellbeing at work.”

Washington DC-based Carlyle is a global alternative asset manager with $162 billion of assets under management across 287 investment vehicles as of March 31, 2017.