Business

McLaren Group, the supercar manufacturer and Formula One team-owner, has received a £70m funding boost from investors in the first stage of a wider capital-raising plan.

Sky News has learnt that the Surrey-based automotive group has been handed the funding by a group of its existing shareholders.

Sources said the share sale was part of a broader effort to fortify McLaren’s balance sheet, with as much as £500m now being sought by the company to fund its business plan into the electric vehicle era.

McLaren is backed by the sovereign wealth funds of Bahrain and Saudi Arabia, as well as a number of other private investors.

It comes months after McLaren was hit by delivery delays on its new Artura hybrid supercar.

Although the vehicle has received positive reviews, McLaren had to implement what it described as “technical upgrades to ensure Artura customers enjoy optimum long-term performance”.

These upgrades have been affected by the supply chain delays hampering global automotive production, forcing the Woking-based company to slow production and customer deliveries of the Artura until the end of last year.

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It emerged late last year that Mumtalakat had acquired part of McLaren’s valuable heritage car collection as part of a further £100m financial commitment to the business.

Insiders said the ongoing fundraising of up to £500m was in addition to that £100m.

On a third-quarter earnings call in November, McLaren said it was in “in active talks with all shareholders regarding a recapitalisation of the group”, although it did not elaborate on the size or structure of a prospective deal.

The new funds are being earmarked for investment in McLaren Automotive, with its Racing subsidiary now a standalone entity within the group and not in need of additional financial support.

Last year, McLaren named former Ferrari executive Michael Leiters as the boss of its road-car division.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, the company was forced into a far-reaching restructuring that saw hundreds of jobs axed and substantial sums raised in equity and debt to repair its balance sheet.

In its racing division, which includes the Formula One cars driven this year by Lando Norris and Oscar Piastri, McLaren has also witnessed a turnaround under Zak Brown, who leads that arm of the company.

McLaren has also undertaken a series of corporate transactions since the start of the pandemic, when it sought a government loan – a request which was rebuffed by ministers.

Paul Walsh, the former Diageo chief who joined in 2020 as executive chairman, has overseen the sale of a stake in McLaren Racing to a separate group of investors, as well as a £170m sale-and-leaseback of its spectacular Surrey headquarters.

In 2021, it also sold McLaren Applied Technologies, which generates revenue from sales to corporate customers.

Founded in 1963 by Bruce McLaren, the group possesses one of the most famous names in British motorsport.

During half a century of competing in F1, it has won the constructors’ championship eight times, while its drivers have included the likes of Mika Hakkinen, Lewis Hamilton, Alain Prost and Ayrton Senna.

In total, the team has won 180 Grands Prix, three Indianapolis 500s and the Le Mans 24 Hours on its debut.

McLaren’s on-track operations account for roughly 20% of the group’s annual revenues.

The company saw its separate divisions reunited following the departure in 2017 of Ron Dennis, the veteran McLaren boss who had steered its F1 team through the most successful period in its history.

Mr Dennis offloaded his stake in a £275m deal following a bitter dispute with fellow shareholders.

McLaren declined to comment on its latest capital injection.

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