Matalan plans sale and leaseback of Merseyside HQ
Matalan is marketing its head office in Knowsley, Merseyside with the hope of freeing up spare cash to mitigate the impact of Covid-19.
The retailer is seeking a sale and leaseback deal on its 132,000 sq ft premises at Knowsley Industrial Park, which have been under its control since 2018.
The transaction could raise about £29 million, providing much-needed capital to sustain the business following the UK lockdown.
Critics believe the move reflects John Hargreaves’ resistance to pump more cash into the discount fashion chain, the Times reported. Matalan’s multimillionaire founder, who lives in tax haven Monaco, has avoided reaching into his own pockets to support the retailer, which furloughed 11,000 staff under the Government Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme.
Matalan recently borrowed £25 million under the Coronavirus Large Business Interruption Loan Scheme.
The sale and leaseback plan echoes similar moves by Next, which appointed agents to dispose of its £45 million Leicester head office in April, and Sports Direct, which sold its Shirebrook logistics centre for £120 million in 2019.
Ted Baker also agreed a deal with British Airways' pension scheme to sell its Ugly Brown Building in north London earlier this year.
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