The office company Skanska has purchased from Academic Business Incubators (AIP) the remaining shares in Business Link – the largest network of coworking and private offices for rent in Poland. Skanska had held a 40% stake. The acquisition of Business Link will allow the office company to better match its offering to the needs and expectations of companies using flexible workspace.
The market for modern, flexible office spaces is developing constantly and dynamically. Analyses indicate that this sector has been growing in Poland in recent years by about 30-40% annually. The situation is similar in Europe as a whole, where the market is set to develop at an annual rate of up to 30% in the coming years.
Taking into account the development prospects of the modern coworking space sector and the strong position of Business Link in this market, Skanska decided to buy the remaining shares in Business Link from AIP.
The subject of the transaction is a company which, under the name Business Link, manages 5 Business Link offices located in the Astoria office building in Warsaw and in buildings developed by Skanska in Poznan (Maraton), Krakow (High5ive), Wroclaw (Green2Day) and Prague (Visionary). Other Business Link locations will be managed by AIP.
– We are convinced that coworking spaces will play an ever more important role in the real estate market. For us, the acquisition of the remaining shares in Business Link is yet another step towards expansion and even greater adjustment of the offering to the needs of our corporate clients as well as those of budding entrepreneurs, who create innovative startups. Since the beginning of our cooperation it has been one of the scenarios for the development of this business by Skanska – said Arkadiusz Rudzki, managing director at Skanska office company in Poland.
– Business Links, which we have created over the last decade, is a milestone in building a startup ecosystem in Poland and this part of Europe. We have created a leader in the coworking spaces sector in CEE, bringing together over 2,600 entrepreneurs. We operate in a dozen or so locations with a total area of more than 35,000 sqm. Locations such as Business Link Astoria, Business Link High5ive or Business Link Zebra enjoy 100% occupancy and we even have waiting lists. The most important point, however, is that within the ecosystem created, we have provided space for development for many business starters and enabled change for corporations. Over the past 8 years, as part of the Business Links business, we have assisted over 6,000 entrepreneurs. Today, we want to raise our vision of Poland and CEE as a leading startup ecosystem to the next level, creating, as promised years ago, three unicorn companies and unique products on a global scale that will help us achieve this goal. That is why in the near future my aim will be to provide new tools which, just like Business.Link, AIP, AIP Seed Capital or bValue, are groundbreaking and give unique value to entrepreneurial Poles and residents of this region of the world – says Dariusz Żuk, co-founder of Business Link and AIP.
Business Link is a brand that has been attracting investors' interest for a long time, but handing it over to Skanska was a logical continuation of the activities resulting from the existing cooperation between our companies. We intend to continue this cooperation and I am convinced that it is a positive next step in the development of Business Link – one of my beloved children – adds Dariusz Żuk.
– We see that the needs of our customers are changing. A few years ago it was Activity Based Working; now companies are opening up to coworking spaces. The latest trend is for our clients to combine traditional office space with coworker space, which on the one hand affords them flexibility and on the other hand offers unique development opportunities for employees. And these, as we know, are increasingly becoming one of the basic tools for talent acquisition. Over the last one and a half years, we have managed to open five brand new and attractive coworking offices. We have many satisfied customers. I am happy that Business Link will complete Skanska’s offer on a permanent basis – stressed Jarosław Bator, managing director at Business Link.
 JLL report "Disruption or Distraction".