Mark Dixon, who founded Regus in 1989, has sold a 17.5 per cent in the company to a consortium of investors led by Bankers Trust, the US investment bank, in return for $100m.
Details of the deal were not made clear but a spokesman insisted that, although Mr Dixon will pocket some of the proceeds, the "substantial majority" of the funds were for expanding the business into Asia and the United States.
The move is a first step towards preparing the company for a flotation within the next three years.
The other members of the consortium include Bankers Trust subsidiaries BT Alex. Brown and BT Capital Partners, plus US-based real estate fund Apollo Real Estate and Pelham Partners, Apollo's European affiliate.
Regus opened its first serviced office suite in Brussels in 1989.
Mr Dixon opened the centres in the belief that businessmen would want to rent office space in the same way as they rent hotel rooms.
The company now has 150 centres in 29 countries around the world, and hopes to open its 200th centre later this year.
Its customers include Microsoft, Midland Bank, KLM and Marks & Spencer.Reuse content