McLaren loaned $268 million lifeline

Vital cash boost for McLaren arrives via Bahrain’s national bank.

McLaren has secured a $268 million loan from the National Bank of Bahrain (NBB), a major boost for the British firm after it said it had fallen into “severe and unexpected” financial trouble due to the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.

The ‘financial facility’ extended to the McLaren Group was confirmed by the NBB in a filing to the Bahrain stock market and will provide vital cashflow after struggles for both the firm’s Automotive and Racing divisions.

Sales of McLaren’s sports cars have fallen sharply due to the coronavirus lockdown, with the firm’s factory also forced to close for an extended period. Meanwhile, the suspension of the Formula 1 season meant there has been no sponsorship, prize or television rights income for the Racing division.

McLaren is currently taking legal action against a group of creditors to secure capital by issuing a bond against its factory and classic car collection. In a filing to support that bid, the firm said it faced insolvency if it did not secure extra cash. While that action is ongoing, the loan from the NBB eases imminent concerns over the firm’s future.

Bahrain’s sovereign wealth fund, Mumtalakat Holding Co, is the majority shareholder of the McLaren Group, with a 56 per cent stake in the firm. Mumtalakat also has a 44.06 per cent stake in the NBB, with the Bahrain government owning another 10.85 per cent.

James Attwood

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