The McLaren Group is in talks with the National Bank of Bahrain to secure an urgent company-saving loan which would allow it to continue operating in the short-term.
The British supercar manufacturer and Formula 1 team has been hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic, with its automotive business posting a £133 million loss for the opening quarter of the year as a result of stalled car sales.
A number of funding options have been explored including selling a stake in the F1 team, borrowing against its assets such as its Woking factories and historic car collection.
However existing lenders blocked the latter option, claiming those assets are already collateral against existing loans.
McLaren has launched legal action in London’s High Court to prove that is not the case and its case has been fast-tracked after claims the company could collapse without urgent funding by mid-July.
McLaren’s largest shareholder, Mumtalakat, the sovereign wealth fund of the Bahraini royal family, has refused to pump further funds into the company after it and other shareholders injected £291m earlier this year.
However Mumtalakat could be in line to provide a lifeline through Bahrain’s national bank, which looks set to agree a lifeline of £150m, which would see McLaren through to the end of the year when it’s hoped sales and the economy will pick up.
Mumtalakat is the largest shareholder in the National Bank of Bahrain (NBB), with a 49 per cent stake.
If agreed, McLaren could still explore other funding options including pursuing its current legal action in an effort to mortgage its factory and car collection.
Last month McLaren announced it would lay off 1,200 employees – 70 from its F1 operation.