Sale and Leaseback helps Flexible Workspace Operators to continue to Expand

Sale and Leaseback helps Flexible Workspace Operators to continue to Expand

For the last quarter of a century the Business Centre Association has been at the forefront of the flexible workspace revolution. Today the BCA has more than 1200 member locations across the UK.

The BCA does not just represent business centres and serviced offices, we also represent consumers, operators and a wide range of partners in the flexible workspace industry.

Our members and partners are continually raising the bar with new innovations and services to ensure the best possible experience for clients.

BCA partner, SO Advice has recently added Sale & Leaseback to their portfolio of property related products and services now available to clients. 

What is Sale & Leaseback

Sale & Leaseback is a financial property transaction, where a company sells a commercial property asset to a third party, and then leases it back over a pre-arranged term.

The business continues to operate from the same premises but receives significant financial benefit by unlocking capital currently tied up in the commercial property. There are also tax benefits as leasing costs can be off set as an operating expense.

BCA member, BE Offices, has just taken advantage of this method of generating funds and has announced the next stage in its five-year expansion programme with the sale and leaseback of its Wembley and Royal Exchange buildings for a combined cash consideration of approximately £50m.

The funds generated will be used to reduce debt, acquire further central London centres and continue to expand the portfolio.

In July 2016, BE invested £9m in the acquisition of four new centres, taking its total to 17, giving the company a presence in the West End and Canary Wharf for the first time.

BE has taken a short-term lease on the building expiring in September 2018 and will use the time to find suitable space in Wembley for a new centre as demand for flexible space in the area continues to be strong. The disposal generated £35.5m.

Collier's anticipates appetite from landlords to re-gear leases is impacting on churn of stock and transaction levels and "we would expect this trend to intensify over the next 12 months as occupiers search for increased flexibility in lease negotiations".

SO ADVICE co-founder Martin Halling says that, despite Britain being 'open for business' after the Brexit vote, firms were wise to hedge their bets until a final settlement became clearer.

"The government has said it will reach the best deal possible for the UK when we leave the EU, which is welcome news. However, this only provides some reassurance for companies trying to plan their long-term futures. With that in mind the prudent firms will be looking at flexible space to keep all options on the table over the next 2 years, and they may start to look at options for their long term leases at the same time."

SO ADVICE co-founder James Tattam added:

"Banks traditionally take 20-year leases and, if they do decide to relocate some of their operations, we could see space in the City and Canary Wharf in particular coming onto the market as they look to claw back the investment in their property estate".

"Flexible providers may well decide to take advantage of any glut of space to expand their own operations accordingly."

Whatever 2017 brings, it is a win-win situation for the flexible workspace sector!

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