McLaren may have to mortgage historic race cars to stay afloat
Woking, England - McLaren is considering mortgaging its factory and historic racing car collection to help it survive the coronavirus crisis.
The F1 team-owner is thought to be looking to raise up to £300m (R6.78) in loans secured against its hi-tech plant and cars at its Surrey headquarters.
These include a series of F1 winners from the 1980s and 1990s driven by racing greats such as Ayrton Senna who won the world title in 1988, 1990 and 1991 driving for McLaren.
Supercar sales and advertising revenues have dived since countries went into lockdown.
McLaren is using the Government’s job furlough scheme but it is also understood to have requested state aid, which was later turned down because the company couldn’t prove it had exhausted all its funding options. Talks with ministers are ongoing, Sky News reported. If McLaren reaches a mortgage agreement it will pay the loans back when luxury car sales pick up and the F1 season gets back up and running.
The industry wants a behind-closed-doors Grand Prix to take place in July, but nothing has yet been confirmed. McLaren’s shareholders, who are led by Bahrain’s sovereign wealth fund, ploughed £300m into the company in March.
A McLaren spokesman said: "Like many other British businesses McLaren has been severely affected by the current pandemic and we are therefore exploring a variety of different funding options to help navigate these short-term business interruptions."
McLaren has 4000 staff working across three divisions – the F1 racing team, the supercar operation, and the technology research arm.
As well as its Woking headquarters, McLaren has a composite materials centre in Sheffield.