Booking.com mulls sale leaseback of 72,500 m2 Amsterdam HQ complex

Booking.com, the global online travel agency, is considering a sale and leaseback of its new HQ campus in Amsterdam.

Interested buyers are circling while the company decides whether to press the button on a sale mandate of its new 72,500 m2 campus at OosterdDoksEiland (ODE) – the Dutch capital’s bustling ‘island’ development area.

One source suggested the company has been considering a 15-year leaseback and the value of the property could fetch as much as €800 mln, although no final decision has been taken. Property adviser CBRE and Booking.com were unable to comment.

Construction of the spectacular new head office began in 2018 after a site was identified with the help of the City of Amsterdam authority. Architectural practice UNStudio calls the campus one of the largest urban construction projects in Western Europe.

It is being built on a site on the ODE island next to where ships used to be moored during the first Dutch Golden Age and within striking distance of Amsterdam’s Central Station.

Booking.com is creating the ‘urban campus’ to bring together many of its services under one roof. At the time of construction beginning three years ago, architect UNStudio said the campus could accommodate up to 4,000 staff. The campus comprises 65,000 m2 of offices, public spaces, and 7,500 m2 of apartments, plus a global training centre.

Booking.com is owned by US holding company, Booking Holdings, whose group also consists of brands such as KAYAK, Rentalcars.com, Agoda, and OpenTable.

In its latest financial reports, Booking Holdings said gross travel bookings were hit 63% in 2020 to $35.4 bn due to Covid-19 while nightly room bookings fell 58%. The group’s EBIDTA declined over 85% to $879 mln.

Booking Holdings also highlighted its total workforce decreased by 23% year over year as of December 31, 2020.