McLaren has put its spectacular Formula 1 team headquarters in Woking up for sale in another attempt to nerf the economic aftershocks of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Built in 2004 when McLaren was affiliated with German manufacturer Mercedes, the McLaren Technology Centre is one of the most iconic buildings in motorsport. But now, McLaren has instructed property agents to market the sale of the building for an estimated £200 million ($384 million NZD).
McLaren are not intending to relocate its headquarters and should a buyer be found it will not affect the day-to-day running of the business operations.
The building is expected to be sold by the end of this financial year.
“The potential sale and leaseback of our global headquarters and the appointment of banks to advise us on a debt restructuring and equity raise are part of the comprehensive refinancing strategy that we announced earlier this year,” a McLaren spokesperson said.
“Building on the shorter-term measures that we put in place over the summer, these initiatives will deliver a stronger balance sheet and ensure that McLaren Group has a sustainable platform for long-term growth and investment.”
The sale is another bid by McLaren to improve cash flows following a difficult period amid the pandemic. 1200 employees were laid off back in May while they also had planned to mortgage its classic car collection which includes cars driven by Ayrton Senna, Mika Hakkinen and Niki Lauda in a bid to raise upwards of £275 million.
Earlier this year McLaren shareholders, who are led by Mumtalakat, Bahrain’s sovereign wealth fund, injected £300m of equity into the company.
But this cash injection has seemingly fallen short of keeping the business afloat during the pandemic with the cancellation of motorsport and the shutdown of factory manufacturing the leading causes of their financial troubles.
“This is undoubtedly a challenging time for our company and particularly our people, but we plan to emerge as an efficient, sustainable business with a clear course for returning to growth,” said McLaren Group executive chairman Paul Walsh.
“McLaren Applied has also already refocused to strategically prioritise proven, high-growth revenue streams.”
Despite their financial trouble, McLaren are having one of their best seasons in F1 since the start of the turbo-hybrid era. The team are third in the standings with podium finishes in Austria and Monza.
They will see a new driving pairing in 2021 with Daniel Ricciardo joining the team, as well as the welcome return of being a customer team to the dominant Mercedes power unit.