McLaren takes legal action to secure funding

McLaren has taken legal action against a group of creditors to allow it to go ahead with an “urgent” round of refinancing.

The British company, which includes the sports car maker and the Formula 1 team, is seeking to raise cash to avoid what it says in the filing is a potential “liquidity shortfall”. It said this was caused by it having “fallen into severe and unexpected financial difficulty” due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

McLaren Holdings Limited is seeking to secure capital by issuing a bond for more than £650 million (AUD$1.172 billion) against its factory in Woking, Surrey and its collection of historic racing cars. But a group of investors claim that the McLaren Technology Centre and car collection are already employed as security in a bond dating from 2017.

Last week, Judge Anthony Mann agreed to expedite the trial, given McLaren’s claim that it risks insolvency if the dispute isn’t settled quickly. The two sides have proposed a two- or three-day trial that will begin in 2 July.

The investors are understood to perceive the new bond issue as undermining their existing investment so have proposed an alternative refinancing arrangement.

The court documents filed by McLaren Group said that an earlier credit agreement of £130 million (AUD$234 million) is “fully drawn”. They also said that McLaren’s shareholders had invested a further £291 million (AUD$525 million) in the business in March, part of a £500 million (AUD$901 million) total investment in the past 18 months.

McLaren Group recently announced plans to shed 1,200 jobs across its Automotive, Racing and Applied divisions as part of a major cost-saving programme.

James Attwood

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