Befimmo partnering up with Co.Station

26 June 2020

Co.Station and Befimmo are delighted to announce their new partnership. Befimmo is to become the privileged real estate partner of Co.Station, the unique innovation and entrepreneurship platform. It will also be one of the founding partners of the “co.building” innovation ecosystem, to be launched by Co.Station later this year. This ecosystem will support more than 30 companies in designing intelligent and sustainable buildings together, placing environmental quality at the heart of housing and the workplace.

By taking a stake in Co.Station Belgium SA/NV, Befimmo is joining a solid shareholding structure made up of leading companies in their field, BNP Paribas Fortis, Proximus, SD Worx and USG People, as well as a consortium of supporting partners, including Sambrinvest, Accenture, Cresco, Leyton and Microsoft. The arrival of Befimmo represents real added value for Co.Station, since it will enable Befimmo's expertise and know-how in the real estate sector to feed into its different innovation ecosystems and communities.

Since 2014, Co.Station has been gathering start-ups and scale-ups active in the technology and digital sectors, as well as medium and large companies from different industries, into its workspaces in Brussels, Ghent and Charleroi, thereby cross-fertilizing partnership and innovation. These are true business ecosystems, promoting “open innovation” in specific, common fields and enabling companies both to grow and break new ground. In particular, Co.Station has already proven its expertise, setting up cutting-edge ecosystems in energy (IO.Energy), mobility (co.mobility), and also in ushering resilience into companies, workers and leaders in this post-Covid-19 recovery period on the Belgian market (co.responsibility). In each case, Co.Station plays a central role as operator and non-partisan facilitator between all the players concerned. The “co.building” ecosystem, to be launched by the end of the year, will run on the same principle, with Befimmo as one of its founding members.

Real estate joins finance, telecoms and HR

“The success of an innovative corporate environment can be gauged by the implementation of a clear-cut operating model and by establishing unique and intersectoral partnerships between different stakeholders in society (companies, start-ups, SMEs, academics, individuals, etc.)”, Béatrice de Mahieu, Co.Station’s CEO stresses. “We are proud to welcome Befimmo to our body of shareholders and to prove, in this way, that combined forces of finance, telecommunications, human resources and now real estate, represent a dynamic approach to supporting and fostering innovation and the entrepreneurial environment in Belgium."

Benoît De Blieck, Befimmo’s CEO, is also delighted with this new partnership. “Following the acquisition of Silversquare in 2018, Befimmo is continuing on its path of innovation. Thanks to its stake in Co.Station, Befimmo will find itself part of a sustained dialogue on innovation with ambitious partners who are looking to move forward in tomorrow’s world”, he underscores. “I am convinced that this dialogue will bring many opportunities with it for Befimmo, because this is going to be a cutting-edge ecosystem open to themes that have long since been built into our strategy. Take, for example, changing world of work, use of resources and even digitalization, all areas in which we have already made significant advances."

As of today, Befimmo also becomes Co.Station’s privileged real estate partner. This means that it will now share its real-estate experience and strategic vision on the working environment of the future with the entire platform. It also means that it will place stimulating, state of the art workspaces at the disposal of workshops, and also meetings of different innovation forums.

Dirk Beeckman, Chief Transformation Officer, BNP Paribas Fortis & President, Board Co.Station:
“BNP Paribas Fortis is very pleased to welcome an additional solid shareholder for Co.Station, a project the bank initiated in 2014. The arrival of Befimmo will allow to complement the competencies already present at Co.Station with a major real-estate player, but also emphasizes, only a few days after the announcement of the arrival of Microsoft as supporting partner, the central role of Co.Station in providing services to innovation.”

Jan Sonck, Customer & Ecosystem Engagement Manager, Proximus:
“Proximus is delighted with the arrival of Befimmo as a shareholder of Co.Station. This is a great opportunity for the community to engage with a strong Belgian player recognized as a competent and innovative company. Befimmo will bring its know-how in the field of real estate, which is an important pillar of Co.Station's activities with the rental of space for Startups.”

Christophe Petit, CEO, SD Worx Staffing Solutions Belgium:
“SD Worx is delighted to welcome Befimmo as an additional shareholder of Co.Station. Growing our partner community with an innovative specialist in real estate and work spaces, will be an important asset to the whole Co.Station community in view of the important transformation of the 'World of Work' at hand.”

Katty Scheerlinck, Country Director, USG People Belgium:
“We are delighted to welcome Befimmo as a fellow partner and shareholder. As one of the global partners of Co.Station and one of the leading staffing firms in Belgium, we value and believe in innovation that springs from bringing together different insights, people and organizations. Befimmo, an innovative expert in not just real estate but sustainable workspaces, will bring an substantial expertise from an industry that is in full transformation with smart buildings, sustainability and co-working spaces. Their added value will enrich the Co.Station community in projects to come and will help us in creating more creative and innovative solutions.”

Co.Station contact person :
Béatrice de Mahieu, CEO of Co.Station Belgium
Tel.: +32 (0)496 59 23 05

Befimmo contact person:
Caroline Kerremans, Head of IR & Communication

+32 (0)2 679 38 13

About Befimmo
Befimmo, a regulated real estate company, which is listed on the Brussels Euronext stock-exchange, specializes in office buildings, meetings centres and coworking spaces. As a humane, civic and dependable company, Befimmo offers its occupants contemporary office spaces and linked services in sustainable buildings, both in terms of architecture, location and also environmental friendliness. By creating added value for its users in this way, Befimmo likewise generates value for its shareholders and stakeholders. As of 31 December, 2019, it held a portfolio, in Belgium and the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg, worth € 2.8 billion.

About Co.Station
Co.Station Belgium is an inspirational, leading-edge workplace helping entrepreneurs to develop their business and medium and large companies to break new ground. Thanks to its large community of start-ups, scale-ups, companies and its vast network of international experts, universities, governments and regulatory authorities, Co.Station is also the ideal partner for setting up innovation forums. By fostering and coordinating the work carried out by these different stakeholders, Co.Station plays a major role in focusing on challenges in today’s society, and in promoting great ideas on working together for widespread impact. Co.Station also has 5 trusted shareholders to help it to achieve its aims - BNP Paribas Fortis, SD Worx, Proximus, USG and Befimmo. It operates workspaces in Brussels, Ghent and Charleroi.