BENGALURU: IWG said on Tuesday it was reviewing the separation of its digital and technology assets as the office rental firm reported a slight fall in third-quarter revenue, with higher COVID-19 cases hitting clients’ plans to return to the office.

The Swiss-based company, which has centres in more than 3,300 locations across 110 countries, said it has started to “assess the strategic and commercial rationale for separating the digital and technology assets into a separately identified and constituted business”.

“The potential to more broadly leverage the intellectual property of the group, together with the ownership structure of the property portfolio, is the subject of further review,” the company said in a trading update.

In September, Sky News reported that the serviced office giant was exploring a multi-billion pound break-up plan that would involve splitting it into several distinct companies.

The FTSE 250 firm said group revenue was 550.8 million pounds ($752.1 million) in the three months ended Sept. 30, down 0.3% from the year-earlier period that was hit by restrictions and uncertainty.

The re-emergence of coronavirus cases in several countries and the subsequent tightening of curbs in some places have compounded worries for office space providers, as businesses opt for shorter leases and many employees continue to work remotely.

IWG said occupancy at its pre-2020 operations was 71.2% in the third quarter, only slightly up from 70.1% in the year-earlier period despite the lifting of heavy pandemic restrictions.

The UK-listed owner of the Spaces and Regus brands, however, said outlook for the remainder of the year remained “encouraging”.

IWG shares were trading 0.2% lower as of 0905 GMT.

Real estate services company Cushman & Wakefield said on Friday it had invested $150 million in IWG rival WeWork, days after the office-sharing firm started trading on the New York Stock Exchange following a merger with a blank-check company.

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