A deal has been struck for McLaren to sell its iconic headquarters in Woking, England, to a New York-based firm for £170 million, or around $236 million, it was announced Tuesday. The complex had been on the market for months.
McLaren will remain a tenant on the 840,000 square foot campus as part of a 20-year leaseback agreement, with plans to remain there long term. McLaren is in the middle of restructuring its debt, it said last year, with the money for its headquarters part of a broader equity raise it was doing to have “a sustainable platform for long-term growth and investment.”
McLaren sold to a firm called Global Net Lease, which sounds pleased with itself.
“We are excited to announce that this world-class facility will become part of the GNL portfolio,” said James Nelson, CEO of GNL “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.”
McLaren had initially sought £200 million for the complex, which has a wind tunnel testing facility and several artificial lakes, in addition to production facilities for McLaren’s road cars. Construction was completed on the tech center in 2003, while the production center was added in 2011.
And while it’s a little sad to see it go, the pandemic has not been kind to McLaren, which was forced to lay off around a quarter of its staff last year. McLaren also got a $185 million cash boost from the National Bank of Bahrain last year.
There was even some suggestion that McLaren’s cash struggles might affect its performance in Formula 1 this year, though that hasn’t been the case; Lando Norris in particular is enjoying a fine start to the season, sitting in third in the driver standings. The team’s other driver, Daniel Ricciardo sits seventh, or right in the mix for what should be a competitive year for a team that is shooting for at least one driver in the top five.