Bahrain buys McLaren's historic cars as British brand seeks to raise cash

Supercar maker needs capital after delivery delays to its Artura hybrid model

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British supercar company McLaren has been forced to sell some of its collection of historic vehicles, to fill a cash hole left by delays in delivering its new hybrid model, the Artura.

Bahrain’s sovereign wealth fund Mumtalakat has bought the heritage models in exchange for a £100 million ($123 million) cash injection.

Mumtalakat owns nearly 60 per cent of McLaren.

The supercar company reported a loss of £203 million in the nine months through to September, compared with a £69 million loss a year ago. Liquidity at the end of the third quarter declined to £87 million — down from £171 million.

A McLaren spokesman said the sale of some heritage vehicles to the main shareholder would mean a cash infusion for the business. He did not give details on which cars were sold.

McLaren’s heritage vehicle collection comprised 54 rare Formula One racing cars and F1 supercars, according to its 2021 annual report. The report says that the company sells cars from its collection from time to time.

Ayrton Senna driving a Honda McLaren MP4/6 at the Canadian Grand Prix in Montreal, in 1992. Getty Images

In addition to the £100 million injection, the company is also looking at other financing options.

“We are in active talks with all shareholders regarding a recapitalisation of the group,” McLaren said.

It is also continuing talks for potential partnerships.

The British marque has sought emergency financing multiple times over the past few years from shareholders, amid delays in the launch of the Artura.

This latest round of fundraising comes just months after its shareholders, who also include US investment firm Ares Management Corporation and Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund, gave £125 million through convertible preference shares.

Delivery delays came about after McLaren found that “certain technical upgrades” were needed to the Artura before it started delivering the model.

Updated: December 03, 2022, 1:02 AM
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