McLaren sold its iconic Woking, United Kingdom based headquarters comprising its MTC (McLaren Technology Center), McLaren Production Centre, and McLaren Thought Leadership Centre for £170 million (~$237 million). Yes! The infamous architectural masterpiece has been sold to get the company back from a financial crisis. Although, this is basically a sale and lease back agreement as McLaren will continue to use it as their HQ on lease for 20 years. That means McLaren’s Automotive, Racing, and Applied divisions continue to work out of the facility for the next 20 years.
The Brtish automaker’s HQ was put up for sale last year, as its financial condition has been hit particularly hard by the slowdown effects of the ongoing Covid-19 coronavirus pandemic. The 840,000 square foot property has been bought by a Global Net Lease, a U.S. based company.
Global Net Lease (GNL), a real estate investment trust that specializes in sale-and-leaseback deals and now also the new owner of McLaren’s Woking HQ informed about the struck deal with McLaren on Tuesday. The payment transaction is expected to close in the second quarter of 2021. According to Motorsport, McLaren originally demanded £200 million ($259 million) for the property, but the deal settled down for £170 million ($237 million).
“We are excited to announce that this world-class facility will become part of the GNL portfolio. 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,” said James Nelson, CEO of GLN.
“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,” he further added.
The property’s construction began in 1998 with McLaren’s headquarters, car plant and wind tunnel, and was designed by world-renowned architects, Foster & Partners. Currently, the MTC campus includes the McLaren Technology Centre, McLaren Production Centre and McLaren Thought Leadership Centre. It has many environmentally conscious features including several lakes which assist in cooling efforts. This is such a beautiful and futuristic infrastructure that it was featured as the HQ of the lead villain in Fast and Furious 9.
The firm has also planted more than 100,000 trees at the site and created a wildlife sanctuary for otters and kingfishers. The buildings have self-cleaning roofs that use a high-pressure drainage system to collect rainwater which is then used to refill the lake. In 2010, the campus earned Carbon Trust Standard certification from the Carbon Trust and in 2011 McLaren Racing was announced as the first-ever carbon-neutral team in Formula 1.
This is the place where all of McLaren’s history resides. Including their F1 history and ALL of their previous cars including their championship winners. It is THE only place where there is a McLaren Senna and Ayrton Senna’s MP4/4 as well!
McLaren has been going through some financial issues for the past few years. Prior to the onset of the pandemic, McLaren had amassed significant loans to expand its business as well as buy out former shareholder Ron Dennis. Dennis’ shares alone cost McLaren $343 million.
Last year, the company also raised £291 million ($373 million at the time) inequity in March and also secured a £150 million ($192 million) loan from the National Bank of Bahrain in June 2020. The company had considered mortgaging its heritage car collection but it remains to be seen if it has gone through with this.