Private equity group TPG in exclusive talks to buy McLaren’s iconic Woking HQ
Private equity group TPG is in exclusive talks with supercar maker McLaren over the purchase of the firm’s iconic Woking headquarters.
Sky News reported that the sale-and-leaseback deal for the property, which would allow the carmaker to continue using it, could be worth around £180m.
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.
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McLaren put its headquarters up for sale back in September as part of attempts to shore up its balance sheet, which has taken a hefty blow from the coronavirus pandemic.
Sales at the auto firm fell 60 per cent last year, with the company making a £312m loss as a result. It was also forced to lay off a quarter of its staff over the summer.
Alongside the sale of its headquarters, McLaren has already raised £185m through the sale of a minority stake in its F1 racing team to MSP Sports Capital.
It is also looking to raise £500m in fresh equity over the next 12 months. The firm has brought on Talk Talk’s finance chief Kate Ferry in order to handle the raise.
The move has prompted speculation that the auto maker is considering going public in the near future.
McLaren and TPG declined to comment.