McLaren ‘seeking £150m Bahrain bank loan’

Jon Wilde
Lando Norris and the McLaren MCL 35

Lando Norris and the McLaren MCL 35

McLaren are set to address their financial worries by arranging a loan from the National Bank of Bahrain (NBB) to provide a £150m cash injection next month.

Autosport are reporting the move would allow the company to obtain at least the first stage of the required refinancing from a ‘friendly’ organisation that shares a significant part of its ownership with McLaren itself.

The NBB is 44% owned by the Mumtalakat Holding Company, Bahrain’s sovereign wealth fund, which also owns 56% of McLaren. A loan between the two parties would be on more favourable terms than those available on the financial markets.

Court documents have indicated McLaren are seeking £280m altogether and that new funding is required by mid-July as the impact of the global health pandemic hits the company hard.

Forbes reported this week that McLaren’s financial troubles could be worse than initially thought with the Group facing insolvency by July 17, which is the Friday of the Hungarian Grand Prix weekend. But the latest news appears to dilute that claim.

McLaren Holdings recently launched a legal action in order to free up its Woking properties and collection of historic cars to help raise cash via mortgages or a sale of the latter.

However, Autosport report that any such move has been blocked by a group of bondholders who have security over the key assets and do not want to release them to be used to raise new funding. The legal challenge is not, however, expected to impact the NBB loan.

McLaren, who declined to comment on the latest developments, have been forced to lay off more than a quarter of their workforce since the start of the pandemic, which has drastically altered the 2020 F1 schedule that now gets under way in Austria with the opening race on July 5.

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