Currently reading: McLaren puts Woking headquarters up for sale
Company plans £200m sell-and-leaseback for famous facility as part of fundraising effort
News
2 mins read
10 September 2020

McLaren has put its Woking headquarters up for sale in an attempt to strengthen its balance sheet against the ongoing impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The property, which is one of the world’s most iconic motorsport HQs, has been in McLaren's hands since it was built in 2004, but now the British firm has instructed property agent Colliers to begin marketing a sale-and-leaseback for £200 million, according to Sky News.

The Woking HQ comprises three buildings: the original Stirling Prize-shortlisted McLaren Technology Centre, the newer McLaren Production Centre, which is used primarily for manufacturing McLaren Automotive road cars, and the McLaren Thought Leadership Centre. All three buildings are part of the proposed sale-and-leaseback.

Should a buyer be found, McLaren will lose ownership of the prestigious property. However, as per the terms of the offer, it would remain at the Woking site, leasing the property back from the buyer over a period of years.

A McLaren spokesperson told Autocar that the company is yet to confirm a final price for the property but is expecting offers "in excess of £200m". McLaren expects the HQ to be sold by the end of this financial year.

"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,” a McLaren spokesperson told Autocar.

“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 sale is McLaren’s latest bid to improve its cash flows in response to the coronavirus pandemic, which has severely affected its revenues. In May, it cut 1200 jobs – more than a quarter of its workforce – across its Applied, Automotive and Racing divisions. It also sought to borrow up to £275m against its classic car collection and Woking HQ, securing a £150m loan from the National Bank of Bahrain.

“This is undoubtedly a challenging time for our company and particularly our people, but we plan to emerge as an efficient, sustainable business with a clear course for returning to growth,” said McLaren Group executive chairman Paul Walsh.

“McLaren Applied has also already refocused to strategically prioritise proven, high-growth revenue streams.”

McLaren cited the cancellation of motorsport events, the suspension of manufacturing, the shortage of car sales globally and reduced demand for technology solutions, all driven by the Covid-19 crisis, as the cause of its troubles.

READ MORE

Exclusive: McLaren plans to sell stake in F1 team to secure future 

McLaren to axe 1200 jobs amid restructure 

McLaren takes legal action in bid to secure 'urgent' funding

Advertisement
Advertisement

Find an Autocar review

Join the debate

Comments
30

10 September 2020

but i can't help feeling that these sums of money won't really last very long

11 September 2020
Pretty soon the only decent sports car manufacturer left will be Ferrari.

11 September 2020
russ13b wrote:

but i can't help feeling that these sums of money won't really last very long

When was McLaren last in the news for selling a portion of the family silver? - 1 or 2 months ago? About that long I'd wager.

Their problem is the same as Aston's problem, they don't have connections to a larger automaker to provide them a parts bin or act as a sugardaddy.

They've been counted out before and survived, but a second much deeper stock market crash looks all but inevitable at this point.

People who normally buy McLarens won't be. Where will the rest of their cash come from?!

They need a buyer for the company, not their HQ.

10 September 2020

 Can't help thinking this is a drowning man coming up for the third time, I hope I'm wrong.

10 September 2020

I think most others are also struggling. I'd hate to be running JLR at the moment given the threat of a hard Brexit which will be a real kick in the balls!

10 September 2020

A bad move to sell your premises

10 September 2020
Slippery slope, did not end well with same arrangement for MG Rover.

10 September 2020

It was a Ron Dennis vanity project - its cost, along with spygate fines, seem to have sealed the fate of McLaren in F1.

McLaren might be better off leaving the megacomplex with all its ghosts, and regrouping, right-sized, elsewhere. 

11 September 2020
Folsom wrote:

It was a Ron Dennis vanity project - its cost, along with spygate fines, seem to have sealed the fate of McLaren in F1.

McLaren might be better off leaving the megacomplex with all its ghosts, and regrouping, right-sized, elsewhere. 

So your proposal is at a time when costs need to be controlled to engage in the massive distruption of moving out of a building which contains substantial IT, test and manufacturing equipment including a 140m log wind tunnel. Your proposal is to relocate the staff away from the manufacturing centre precisely the oposite of the intent of the co-location.

Furthermore the cost at around £300 million is not disproportionate to its size and function.

Mclarens fortunes as an F1 team are primarily down to Mercedes uncoupling from them and shifting to their own team.

Mclaren have undergone a massive expansion on the basis of their critically lauded and in demand sports cars. Their requirement for cash is related to the COVID shock not to making poor products or being organisationally inefficient.

Mclaren total turnover was £1.45 billion of which automotive contributed 85%, the F1 team is a minority partner. The total amount of cash they have brought in by loans is around 50% of annual turnover.

I'd estimate that would allow them to survive for around 2 years or so as their costs of operation will go down as a vast proportion of their operating expenses will be the costs of goods required to create cars which won't be spent if the cars are not ordered. Plus they have shed 1/3 of their worforce.

 

12 September 2020
Torque Stear wrote:

Folsom wrote:

It was a Ron Dennis vanity project - its cost, along with spygate fines, seem to have sealed the fate of McLaren in F1.

McLaren might be better off leaving the megacomplex with all its ghosts, and regrouping, right-sized, elsewhere. 

So your proposal is at a time when costs need to be controlled to engage in the massive distruption of moving out of a building which contains substantial IT, test and manufacturing equipment including a 140m log wind tunnel. Your proposal is to relocate the staff away from the manufacturing centre precisely the oposite of the intent of the co-location.

Furthermore the cost at around £300 million is not disproportionate to its size and function.

Mclarens fortunes as an F1 team are primarily down to Mercedes uncoupling from them and shifting to their own team.

Mclaren have undergone a massive expansion on the basis of their critically lauded and in demand sports cars. Their requirement for cash is related to the COVID shock not to making poor products or being organisationally inefficient.

Mclaren total turnover was £1.45 billion of which automotive contributed 85%, the F1 team is a minority partner. The total amount of cash they have brought in by loans is around 50% of annual turnover.

I'd estimate that would allow them to survive for around 2 years or so as their costs of operation will go down as a vast proportion of their operating expenses will be the costs of goods required to create cars which won't be spent if the cars are not ordered. Plus they have shed 1/3 of their worforce.

 

Tosh. Complete tosh. Go blow Ron and feel good.

Pages

Add your comment

Log in or register to post comments

Find an Autocar car review