VCs exit Regus

AP Regus Investors and Serviced Office Investors sell their stakes in Regus, DB Ventures holds.

Venture capitalists AP Regus Investors and Serviced Office Investors have sold their stakes in Regus, a company that provides serviced offices, after a lock-up period expired. Shares in the company fell on the news.

The VCs had been locked into the stock for the six months following Regus’s flotation in October. Merrill Lynch placed 25.45 million new Regus shares worth about £69.5m.

days earlier, Pelham Partners and Apollo also sold their stake in Regus.

As a result, Regus’s shares slumped 39.5p to 272.5p from 312p.

A company spokesman put a brave face on it, saying it was “good news, because there is no more uncertainty about what the VCs are going to do”.

Several companies have suffered share price falls of late as venture capitalists that decide to sell their stakes. Perhaps the highest profile casualty has been knowledge management firm Autonomy, which saw shares fall 11 per cent when Apax Partners sold the remainder its stake in February. Speculation that Apax was ready to sell had depressed Autonomy’s share price for weeks before.

However, it could have been worse for Regus. Pelham and Apollo are just two of Regus’s three original investors. The third, DB Ventures, has retained a stake worth about £12.1m.