McLaren has sold its Woking technology center for £ 170 million to US real estate giant Global Lease Network, but they will continue to work in it on lease for the next 20 years.
McLaren’s Automotive, Racing and Applied Technologies will continue to operate in the 78,000-square meters technology center, but they will no longer be owners as before but will be on a long-term lease.
This is the third move with which McLaren is trying to get the money needed to invest in these challenging times in which car sales have fallen significantly after they agreed to borrow £ 150m from the National Bank of Bahrain last year and sell a 15% stake in their F1 team to MSP Sports Capital, an American sports investment group, for £ 185 million.
“We are excited to announce that this world-class facility will become part of the GNL portfolio,” said James Nelson, CEO of Global Lease Network.
“The McLaren Group Headquarters’ state of the art buildings have won numerous awards, were designed by renowned architect Norman Foster, and are the type of mission-critical, net-leased properties that make up the GNL portfolio.”
“We are very pleased to have been able to collaborate and work with the management team of the McLaren Group to effect this transaction. We look forward to the long-term partnership with McLaren and the benefits this transaction will have to GNL.”
“The acquisition exemplifies GNL’s ability to source large scale and accretive sale-leaseback opportunities in a competitive marketplace that add significant value to our overall portfolio.”
“We believe our global presence as a leading net lease REIT will continue to provide attractive acquisition opportunities that complement our best-in-class portfolio.”
McLaren CEO Zak Brown, who played a key role in the sale of their technology center, announced last year that this would happen because nowadays it makes no sense to keep money in real estate if they are engaged in car sales and racing.
“Why would we have all that money in real estate? We’re not a real estate company,” said Brown.
“We’re a racing team and a car company. And that’s the beginning of the journey to clean up our financial situation.”
“I don’t think most companies in the world actually own the real estate they’re in.”
“We have a lot of cash locked in that building, and as you can imagine, it’s not a very productive way to use money when you want to invest in your business.”