Exchange Tower – New Liberty location
December 12, 2022
Official Press Release:
‘Perth’s largest independent flexible workspace provider Liberty has swooped into action to quickly take over the operations of failed workspace provider Victory Offices in Perth.
The move preserves continuity for dozens of CBD businesses located on Level 17, Exchange Tower in Perth, and adds a 7th location to Liberty’s growing network.
The prompt action gives tenants of the troubled Victory Offices an uninterrupted transition due to the sudden withdrawal of the business from Perth and saves the two full-time Victory employees jobs. This follows the announcement by the Supreme Court of Victoria determining that ‘co-working company Victory Offices (ASX: VOL) be wound up, bringing to a close a protracted legal process for the embattled serviced offices provider and its creditors.’
Without Liberty taking over the Victory Office tenants of Level 17 Exchange Tower would have been locked out from their offices and suffered operationally from closure and the removal of services as happened in at least half a dozen Sydney and Melbourne locations over the last 12 months.
Earlier this month, the company that was once valued at $80 million said it faced becoming insolvent and appointed DV Recovery Management as voluntary administrators. Victory Offices was facing an application to wind up the company launched by creditors allegedly owed about $3.5 million in overdue debts, which was heard in the Supreme Court, including $985,269 in unpaid rent and associated interest.
Back in July 2021, Victory was reported to have been locked out of two Sydney and one Melbourne locations due to unpaid rent. In June this year their landlord at 420 George St, Melbourne terminated the lease. Victory co-workers at 100 Mount Street also found themselves turfed out of their offices, in similarly abrupt circumstances and Victory’s sublease at level 25 of 300 Barangaroo Avenue in Sydney was terminated following unpaid rents. In June this year Victory Offices confirmed the closure of all of its Sydney city locations and lost its chief financial officer.
By the 8th of June, Victory shares had slumped 80 percent over the previous 12 months, down from a peak of around $2.14 in 2019 to 3.5¢. The company floated on the ASX with much fanfare in 2019 with a market capitalisation of about $80 million. It is now worth $6.31 million at current market values.
Commenting on the situation Jamie Vine CEO of Liberty Flexible Workspace said, “The Level 17 Exchange Tower customers and Victory Office employees could very well have been faced with weeks of uncertainty and disruption. We wanted to make sure they were affected as little as possible by the situation. We took over on the 1st of December the day after Victory ceased business in the tower. We immediately assured the staff they had jobs going forward and then began to personally inform the customers as they arrived, and by email.
As a local business Liberty, has the experience and stability required, and we were able to be agile, decisive, and accommodating with this sensitive and serious challenge. We had an immediate understanding of what was required and enacted a straightforward and streamlined takeover plan.
We have worked very hard over the last eleven years to establish a reputation for excellence in this area. That means we are one of very few operators in a position to be able to assist in the situation for the Victory customers of level 17 at Exchange Tower. Over the next few weeks, we will try to communicate as openly as possible how we will manage the transition to a Liberty experience and ensure as little disruption as possible. At the same time, we will present ideas on how we may even be able to sprinkle some of the Liberty client experience magic to enhance the facilities amazing décor.”
Commenting on the situation from a tenant’s point of view, Jennifer McMahon Co-founder of Modern People Global said, “After 3 great years in our space, we were saddened to hear the office may be closing. When the good news came in that Liberty was taking over operations, we were ecstatic. We have interacted with Jamie & the Liberty team through the Perth community many times and they have a strong philosophy of care, community, and collaboration. It’s reflected in their internal culture, relationships with their clients, and their business model. The perfect partnership for Modern People’s purpose to ‘humanise the new world of work’. Liberated work is foundational to this!”