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Change of ownership! A luxury sports car brand is wholly owned.

2024-04-24 Update From: AutoBeta NAV: AutoBeta > News >


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According to foreign media reports, British supercar maker McLaren has been wholly owned by Bahrain's sovereign wealth fund holding company (Mumtalakat Holding Company), increasing its shareholding from 60 per cent to 100 per cent. However, as of press time, the official has not released any details of the capital injection.

It is understood that McLaren is a British supercar manufacturer, whose business is divided into supercar manufacturing and racing business. It was originally founded by champion driver Bruce McLaren (Bruce McLaren) in 1960, named McLaren Motor Co., Ltd., and then became independent in 2010. McLaren Motor Company's English name has also been changed from McLaren Cars to McLaren Automotive, independent into McLaren Motor Company.

As for Bahrain sovereign wealth fund holding company, it is a wholly owned subsidiary of the Bahraini government, mainly investing in finance, industry, real estate, tourism and other non-oil projects. Bahrain's sovereign wealth fund, officially known as Mutalakat Holdings, has held a stake in McLaren since 2007, and COVID-19 injected millions of dollars into the company to keep it afloat during the outbreak.

In December 2023, McLaren issued a statement saying that shareholders unanimously approved a comprehensive recapitalization of the group. the introduction of a simplified ownership structure and governance process is "an important step for the group to continue its commitment to building a world-leading supercar, providing a top customer experience and expanding new markets and customers". During this period, it was reported that Mamtalakat Holdings, a major shareholder of McLaren and the Bahrain sovereign wealth fund, was about to reach an agreement on a full takeover of McLaren.

In February, it was reported that McLaren's controlling shareholder Mumtalakat Holding Co was seeking to bring in additional investors, including potential Chinese carmakers, who could provide capital and technical expertise, hoping to fund McLaren's further growth, although representatives of McLaren and Mumtalakat declined to comment at the time.

The increase in shareholding may mean that Mumtalakat Holding Company will provide more financial support for McLaren. In fact, as early as 2020, when COVID-19 broke out, McLaren was in a difficult situation because of a shortage of funds. It is reported that McLaren applied to the British government for a loan of 150 million pounds, but was not approved. In order to alleviate the financial crisis, McLaren announced in May 2020 that it would cut 1200 jobs out of 4000 people, involving Formula one fleets, road production cars and applied technology businesses. At the same time, McLaren planned to sell the £200m headquarters building, which was temporarily weathered by a £150 million loan from a Bahraini bank. But the money was a drop in the bucket for McLaren, who ran into financial difficulties the following year and eventually sold it to GlobalNetLease, an American company, for £170 million and continued to use it in the form of leaseback.

In addition, McLaren's Artura supercar was forced to stop production due to a shortage of chips, followed by a technology upgrade, but a lack of funds to complete the upgrade, resulting in indefinite delays in delivery, resulting in an indefinite delay in selling some collectible classic cars to Mumtalakat in exchange for 100m of liquidity to fund research and development of the delayed Artura supercar.

McLaren's previously released financial data showed that McLaren lost 349 million pounds in 2022, hit by supply chain disruptions and falling market demand caused by the epidemic. McLaren's main automotive business unit had about 55 million pounds ($69 million) in cash and unused liquidity credit lines, with net debt of about 517 million pounds, according to data.

To some extent, although McLaren is a supercar brand, unlike other supercar manufacturers, McLaren does not have a financier behind it, coupled with persistent losses, which is the key to its financial difficulties. McLaren has repeatedly sought financial assistance from investors. In addition, McLaren is fond of supercars and refuses to launch SUV and all-electric models, but these models are the main theme of the consumer market. On the contrary, sports cars are expensive, which determines that this market is not suitable for mass consumers, which may also be the reason why ultra-luxury sports car manufacturers such as Aston Martin, Lamborghini, Maserati and Ferrari all put down their posture to launch SUV or new energy models.

For McLaren, who has no money in his pocket, the increase in the shareholding of Bahrain's sovereign wealth fund may mean it may be able to provide financial support for McLaren. We don't know whether the holding of Bahrain's sovereign wealth fund will be a lifesaver for McLaren in the future.

It is reported that McLaren may launch a new supercar this year, which may be the successor to McLaren P1 and is expected to be equipped with gull-wing doors with an output power of more than 1000 horsepower.

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