Feb 25, 2020
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Ted Baker wants to sell HQ building

Feb 25, 2020

Ted Baker is in talks to sell its ‘Ugly Brown Building’ headquarters in London’s Kings Cross after uncovering a multi-million pound black hole in its accounts.

Ted Baker

The 78,920 sq ft building was acquired by the British brand for about £55.2 million in 2015 to protect itself from rent hikes.

But an accounting error, coupled with disappointing trading over the Black Friday period, has reportedly led the business to the drastic decision to put the London HQ on sale.

A deal is close to being finalised with British Airways' pension scheme, which owns a neighbouring building, Sky News reported on Tuesday. The transaction could involve either a stake in the building or an outright sale, with the clothing company expected to raise tens of millions of pounds.

A source told the newspaper that the planned sale could still fall apart.

Ted Baker needs to find a source of cash after revealing last month that an accounting black hole was more than twice as big as initially estimated, coming in at £58 million. The finding was supported by an independent review of its stock inventory position from Deloitte.

Ted Baker has seen its share price crash over the past year amid a string of profit warnings and a ‘forced hugs’ scandal involving its founder Ray Kelvin.

The company has yet to provide clarity regarding the accounting gap, but it said in a statement in December that pre-tax profit for the year ended 25 January 2020 will be between £5 million and £10 million.

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