Vodafone sells UK headquarters in sale-leaseback deal

Vodafone sells UK headquarters in sale-leaseback deal
The Connection business campus, Vodafone's UK headquarters, in Newbury, Berkshire Image: Cortesy of Colliers

London-based real estate company Iqon Capital has acquired The Connection business campus, Vodafone’s UK headquarters, in Newbury, Berkshire, on behalf of Saudi investor Aljazira Capital, for an undisclosed price.

Vodafone sold The Connection as part of a sale-leaseback transaction whereby it will continue to lease four properties for its UK headquarters for the long term.

The campus comprises seven office properties which have served as Vodafone’s UK headquarters since its construction in the early 2000s. The seven properties have a net internal area of 486,810 sqft (45,226 sqm) and are set on 38 acres (15 hectares) of landscaped grounds.

Since 2022, Vodafone has implemented a new blended working model for its 10,000 UK employees which includes a combination of home, site and field-based working, shifting the company’s traditional office space to become hubs for co-workers to interact in person.

The remaining three properties will be comprehensively refurbished into newly re-designed and highly sustainable workplaces which will contribute to transform The Connection into a world-class business and innovation campus.

Colliers advised Vodafone on the transaction.

Chris Lewis, Head of Office Investment said “The sale and subsequent part leaseback by Vodafone of The Connection demonstrates the flexibility that the right approach to real estate can provide. The ongoing commitment by Vodafone to the Newbury campus is testament to it’s fantastic facilities, it’s strong location and high quality office space. We are looking forward to seeing what the next chapter holds for the campus as it continues its evolution.”

Rob Campkin, Head of Corporate Capital Solutions, Occupier Services EMEA, added “We have been delighted to work closely with Vodafone as they implement their new hybrid work solution. By providing strategic options analysis and expert support, we were able to help the client identify the optimal financial and operational solution resulting in a sale and partial leaseback of their campus in Newbury. The transaction was successfully executed at a challenging time in the market.”