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McLaren to sell £170 million Woking factory

McLaren Formula One has agreed to sell its Woking-based 840,000 square foot factory to American company Global Net Lease (GNL).

McLaren to sell £170 million Woking factory

After many months of negotiations discussing the sale of the facility, a £170 million deal has this week been announced between McLaren and Global Net Lease. The transaction will happen in the second half 2021, and will include a 20 years lease for McLaren.

James Nelson, the CEO of Global Net Lease, said: “We are excited to announce that this world-class facility will become part of the GNL portfolio.

He added, "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.”

On the back of suffering financial issues in 2020, McLaren believes that selling the factory will be beneficial by providing a big financial boost.

"Why have all this money tied up in real estate? We're not a real estate company. We're a racing team and an automotive company. And that's the start of the journey to start cleaning up the balance sheet [at McLaren]," said Zak Brown, McLaren's chief executive, in 2020.

"I think the majority of companies in this world don't actually own the real estate that they are tenants of.

"We've got a lot of cash tied up in that building, as you can imagine, and that's not a very productive use of funds when you're looking to invest in your business.

"So we'll ultimately sell it to someone. We will then do an extremely long-term lease and then we'll use that money to invest in our business to help us grow our business. So it's a pretty typical financial restructuring exercise."

The next race in the Formula One series is the Portuguese Grand Prix at the Autodromo International Algarve, which is on the 9th May. McLaren are currently 3rd in the team standings in the series, while their driver Lando Norris is also sitting in 3rd in the individual standings.

Author: Fred Dobberson