Rivals Riled By Regus Investment
Last week, Regus agreed to pay an undisclosed amount to aid the broker’s expansion into the US and Asia.
In response, the UK’s third largest serviced office provider MLS this week scrapped its contract with the Surrey-based company, which acts as an impartial online and telephone-based advisory service linking tenants to business centres.
John Spencer, managing director of MWB Business Exchange – the sector’s second largest company – said he was also “seriously considering” his firm’s position with Easy offices.
MLS group sales and marketing director Ian Kibby said: “We have pulled all of our content from Easy offices because it is simply not good business sense to be putting
monies into the coffers of a direct competitor.”
Regus’s rivals have also privately said they are concerned that Easy offices will suffer from a conflict of interest, and fear it will offer Regus’s buildings to clients first. Others worry that Regus will be given access to commercially sensitive details about upcoming openings and rates.
“Competitive pricing is the key to winning new business in the sector and we are concerned it will gain an advantage,” one rival said.
Regus chief executive Mark Dixon insisted: “Easy offices will work in entirely separate offices and remain completely independent – otherwise it would not work.”
However, Jim Venables, managing director at rival office Broker, said there was a consensus that “you cannot be an office provider and broker”.
John Abrahams, director of Easy offices, has stressed the group will continue to give impartial advice.