Wednesday, June 24, 2020 9:52 a.m. EDT by Thomson Reuters
By Gareth Gore
LONDON (IFR) – WeWork has asked to skip millions of pounds of rent payments owed to Spelthorne Borough Council, creating a major headache for the tiny local authority that has borrowed more than £1bn to bet on commercial property.
The request offers a glimpse into both the impact of the coronavirus pandemic and resulting lockdown on the council’s finances and the struggles of WeWork as it wrestles with the same issues.
The beleaguered shared-workspace operator is one of Spelthorne council’s biggest tenants, occupying three floors at 12 Hammersmith Grove, an office building in West London that the council bought two years ago from Aberdeen Standard Investments for £170m. It is one of the authority’s biggest investments.
WeWork has asked the council to waive the next 18 months of rent in exchange for a five-year extension on its