Supercar maker McLaren Group is selling their corporate headquarters and technology center in Surrey, England to raise £200 million (US$256 million).
McLaren, owner of a successful Formula One team, has instructed property agent Colliers to begin marketing a sale-and-leaseback of the McLaren Technology Center. The sale is expected to draw interest from international property investors. It’s part of a strategy to shore up the company’s finances after months of disruption caused by the pandemic.
McLaren has already raised hundreds of millions of pounds in equity from existing shareholders this year. The also arranged a £150 million loan from the National Bank of Bahrain. Early this year, they laid off a quarter of their workforce, or about 1,200 employees. Additionally, McLaren is also reportedly considering selling off a minority stake in its racing division.
News of the headquarter sale comes amid McLaren’s improved fortunes on the racetrack. The team is currently sitting in third place in the truncated 2020 constructors’ championship series. McLaren is among the most historic names in F1 — during more than half a century of competing, they have won eight F1 constructors’ championships.
The team’s drivers have included the likes of Mika Hakkinen, Lewis Hamilton, Alain Prost and Ayrton Senna. The team’s current drivers are Lando Norris and Carlos Sainz Jr.
Last month, McLaren announced an £184 million operating loss for the first half of the year. Furthermore, they expect “significant uncertainty” in their financial prospects for the remainder of the year due to the pandemic.
An annual budget cap will be introduced in F1 starting in 2021. Sources have said that selling a minority stake could help McLaren operate at the level of the budget cap on a sustainable basis. McLaren’s on-track operations, which include its participation in the Indianapolis 500, account for 20% of the group’s annual revenues.
McLaren is owned by investors led by Mumtalakat, Bahrain’s sovereign wealth fund. They injected £300 million of equity into the company as recently as March 2020. McLaren’s road-car division, which was previously a semi-independent company called McLaren Automotive, makes some of the world’s most expensive cars. They have models including the “Senna” – named after the late F1 legend Ayrton Senna.