Wolford is taking a similar approach to some other companies in the middle of the coronavirus pandemic and is seeking to raise cash by selling its HQ. It’s currently in negotiations to sell and rent back the company property in Bregenz for the long term.
Its HQ and production will continue on the site but the sale will gain it “fresh capital for debt reduction and securing the company’s future”.
It’s now in the final phase of negotiations with the Blum Group on the sale and rental, with the purchase price being around €72 million.
“We very much hope for a successful conclusion of the transaction, because this step is good for Wolford and for the Bregenz location,” said CEO and COO Andrew Thorndike.
The sale should not only provide Wolford with fresh capital but should allow it “to repay all credit lines of the Austrian banking partners and the majority shareholder. In addition, Wolford will also have the financial resources to properly position the company for the future”. Nothing will change for its staff at the site.
But while some companies (such as the UK’s Next) are looking at HQ sales as a very recent reaction to the coronavirus, Wolford has actually been mulling this move for some. Like Ted Baker, which also recently sold its HQ, it has been under pressure for a while and had been seeking ways to generate cash pre-COVID-19.
It had seen a bidding process lasting several months with several prospective buyers before it entered into exclusive negotiations with furniture hardware manufacturer Blum. But the current crisis clearly makes the talks even more urgent.
The firm said that many spaces in the HQ building “are unused and generate corresponding costs. This is another reason why a sale with the simultaneous rental of the operational property is the best option for Wolford”.