Objective

Cable & Wireless sought to reduce its headcount by 2,700 in the UK by the end of June 2001, thereby releasing surplus offices for disposal. This included the disposal of its UK headquarters in 26 Red Lion Square, WC1 and its global headquarters in 124 Theobald’s Road, WC1. Property values in The City of London were at that time the highest across the entire London office market.

Nick managed and implemented the successful disposal of nine office buildings in central London, encompassing in excess of 300,000 sq ft and including both 26 Red Lion Square and 124 Theobalds Road. These disposals resulted in a more efficient use of premises within Cable & Wireless’s existing portfolio and allowed for the acquisition of a new 18,000 sq ft office in Paddington housing the Group executive to support the re-engineering of the overall business.

 

Services Provided

  • Inspection of all relevant properties and supporting lease documents
  • Preparation of initial high-level report outlining the likelihood and cost of disposal
  • Production of bespoke marketing reports for each individual property containing a analysis of the best method of disposal, route to market and likely timetable to exit
  • Marketing action plan comprising indicative strategy, budget and methodology
  • Generation of DCFs to support the business case for disposal

 

Result

The disposal of 42,000 sq ft in 26 Red Lion Square to The Economist Group helped release funds for the business at a time when they were most needed. Shortly thereafter, Cable & Wireless vacated 124 Theobald’s Road. Acting on Nick’s advice, the company embarked on a significant upgrade of its surplus accommodation with a view to seeking a single occupier for the whole building. Five months after completion of the upgrade, Nick let the entire building to MediaCom, a subsidiary of WPP.

The acquisition of 18,000 sq ft in The Point, Paddington Basin, W2 heralded a move away from Cable & Wireless’s historic Holborn location and provided the lynchpin for issuing a new policy directive requiring all new premises acquired be held on shorter-term leases.