McLaren sells Woking headquarters to US real estate trust

The McLaren Group has agreed to sell its Woking industrial campus to US real estate investment trust Global Net Lease for £170 million.

McLaren put the property on the market last year to shore up its finances following a significant downturn in revenue of its automotive and racing operations due to the global COVID-19 pandemic.

The contract purchase price for the combined 840,000 square foot three property office and industrial site is £170 million, but includes a 20-year sale-leaseback deal that will allow McLaren to continue to operate out of its Woking headquarters.

“We are excited to announce that this world-class facility will become part of the GNL portfolio,” commented 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. 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.”

Last September, when McLaren announced that it had put its property on the market, McLaren Racing boss Zak Brown downplayed the significance for the papaya squad of the potential sale of its MTC.

“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,” Brown said at the time.

“We’ve got a lot of cash tied up in that building and that’s not a very productive use of funds when you’re looking to invest in your business.”

The transaction between the McLaren Group and GNL is expected to close in the second quartr of 2021.

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