The McLaren Group is reportedly looking at selling part of its Formula 1 operation in order to raise much needed funds in response to the coronavirus pandemic.
The British outfit could follow in the footsteps of Williams, which is also exploring ways of raising funds including the sale of a minority/majority stake or a complete sale of the historic team.
Although McLaren’s financial position is stronger than Williams thanks to better on-track results in recent seasons – albeit still some way off the top teams – and a normally profitable road car business, the pandemic has hit sales hard and pushed McLaren Automotive into a £133m loss for the first quarter of 2020.
The pandemic has also forced the cancellation of several F1 races, which will ultimately hit the team’s income, which is not only tied to results but also the number of races in a season.
According to Sky News, McLaren bosses have held “discussions with advisers and lenders in the last few days” to explore options, which could result in the sale of a large stake between 20-30 per cent of the racing operation, but talks remain at a “conceptual stage”.
The British manufacturer recently explored raising £275 million in funding by mortgaging its classic car collection and impressive Surrey factory complex, though this has yet to reach final agreement after some existing lenders opposed the move.
Meanwhile majority shareholder Mumtalakat, Bahrain’s sovereign wealth fund, injected some £300m of equity into the company earlier this year in an effort to see it through the coronavirus pandemic.
Further attempts to raise capital via shareholders has reportedly failed and therefore forced the company to explore other options, including the partial sale of its F1 team.