April 25, 2022

Willkie advised HBC on its strategic investment in Convene, expected to create the largest premium flex space operator across the U.S., Canada and Europe.

On April 12, it was announced that Willkie client Hudson’s Bay Company (HBC) is taking a majority stake in office-amenities company Convene and combining its existing portfolio of flexible work, event, restaurant and meeting spaces with Convene’s business to create a leading flex space operator. The Private Equity Group of Ares Management Corporation, a leading global alternative investment manager, joined HBC in the strategic investment in Convene.

The investment completes Convene’s recapitalization plan and establishes HBC as the majority owner of the combined entity. With 26 facilities under management and dozens more under development, the combined entity is expected to be the largest premium flex space operator across the U.S., Canada and Europe.

Willkie previously advised HBC on numerous transactions, including a $500 million equity investment by Rhône Capital, the $850 million sale of the Lord & Taylor Fifth Avenue building to WeWork Property Advisors, and a global strategic arrangement with WeWork. The Firm also represented the Hudson's Bay Company Shareholder Group in its $1.4 billion agreement with HBC to take the company private.

Convene is a leading provider of premium meeting and workday experiences with a global network of venues and flexible office locations.

HBC is a holding company of investments and businesses at the intersection of technology, retail operations and real estate that includes the iconic Saks Fifth Avenue and Hudson’s Bay department store chains. With assets spanning top markets across North America, HBC owns or controls approximately 40 million square feet of gross leasable area.

The Willkie team was led by partners David Drewes, Gregory Astrachan, Viktor Okasmaa and Michael Brandt, and counsel Charlotta Chung.