McLaren puts iconic Woking HQ up for sale for £200m
Sports car maker McLaren has put its iconic headquarters near Woking in Surrey up for sale in a bid to shore up its balance sheet amid the ongoing coronavirus crisis.
Sky News first reported that the firm has instructed property agent Colliers to begin marketing a sale-and-leaseback of the McLaren Technology Centre, with offers in excess of £200m expected.
The spectacular facility, which houses the firm’s collection of classic vehicles and features a number of artificial lakes, as well as a wind tunnel for testing McLaren’s cars, was designed by renowned architect Norman Foster.
Since opening in 2003 it has become one of the automotive industry’s most distinctive settings, featuring in a number of films including the “Fast and Furious” franchise.
The deal, which McLaren confirmed would not change its day-to-day operations, is the latest in a series of steps the F1 team owner has taken to raise additional funding.
Back in June, the firm sealed a new £150m financing facility with Bahrain’s national bank, while 1,200 employees will be made redundant as part of a wide-ranging restructuring.
Before the Open newsletter: Start your day with the City View podcast and key market data
The redundancies will account for about a quarter of the Surrey-based firm’s workforce of 4,000.
The firm has also reportedly appointed Goldman Sachs and HSBC to advise it on a fresh capital raise next year, as well as planned debt restructuring.
A McLaren spokesman said: “The potential sale and leaseback of our global headquarters and the appointment of banks to advise us on a debt restructuring and equity raise are part of the comprehensive refinancing strategy that we announced earlier this year.
“Building on the shorter-term measures that we put in place over the summer, these initiatives will deliver a stronger balance sheet and ensure that McLaren Group has a sustainable platform for long-term growth and investment.
“The proposed sale and leaseback mirrors best practice among leading companies and will have no impact on our day-to-day operations.
“The McLaren Campus, comprising the McLaren Technology Centre, McLaren Production Centre and the McLaren Thought Leadership Centre, is an iconic, world-class facility that will remain our home in the future.”