Turning a liability into £200m
Our knowledge of the site and the BBC told us that TVC could be worth a considerable amount more than a conventional sale would create. We ran a unique twin-track sales process – a conventional sale to act as a yardstick to measure the increase in value, while identifying future uses and creating a vision for the developer. We also delivered this complex sale at a level of detail that could be audited by the National Audit Office.
Creating a plan to maximise value
As part of our planning, all possible uses were considered, from a conventional property sale of the 14 acre freehold site to a joint venture partnership with the aim of repurposing the site. We ensured our vision fitted within the planning framework and identified various complimentary pre-lets - including BBC Worldwide (the commercial arm of the BBC). We combined these components to establish a clear plan for the future of the site: a partnership opportunity with the BBC, with pre-lets negotiated to de-risk the TVC proposition for the successful bidder.
Leveraging brand heritage on a global stage
We developed a web-centric marketing campaign to facilitate the filtering of serious bidders from across the world. We fused the site’s heritage and special place in the hearts of the British public by harnessing the appeal of several much-loved figures and moments from TVC’s illustrious history, inviting investors to “write the next chapter” and create a legacy for this iconic structure. This strategy was sympathetic to those stakeholders that did not want to see TVC sold.
We utilised social media, online advertising and email to drive traffic to a dedicated website and a high profile media launch, combined with targeted print advertising, successfully achieving press coverage around the world.
The impact of the campaign
Our innovative approach and use of social media resulted in some phenomenal statistics. We reached over 4 million people reached in a single month through the press, while over 100,000 investors globally received email and online marketing. This resulted in 240 serious expressions of interest from domestic and global investors.
These results were generated within a total campaign budget equivalent to 10 sq ft of residential space at the Shard! The strong final line-up of quality bids afforded a platform for intensive negotiation and in July 2012, we sold the site sold to Stanhope for £200m.
Continuing the story
Our work on Television Centre continues. We are working to maximise overage and development profits –where there is significant potential for additional value to the BBC and on project management of timely vacation of TVC. The BBC has recently decided to appoint us to manage its UK property portfolio for a fifth time.