Regus Group, a provider of outsourced offices, meeting rooms and conference facilities, has acquired its U.S. competitor, HQ Global Holdings, for roughly $302.5 million in cash. The combined company will control 652 business centers in 52 countries.

Mark Dixon, CEO of Regus, says he believes that the market for outsourced office space in the U.S. is improving. He also believes that his company has improved its outlook dramatically since filing for bankruptcy at the end of the 1990s.

HQ Global also filed for bankruptcy after the dot-com crash dealt a blow to demand for office space. Regus has typically leased high-level office space while HQ Global handles primarily mid-market space.

During a telephone conference call on Friday, Dixon declined to project how the deal with HQ Global would affect Regus’ earning estimates for 2004. However, Dixon did say that some back-office staff may be eliminated are a result of the merger.