By Gavin Gibbon
Bahrain-backed F1 team could sell up to 30 percent of business
Bahrain-backed McLaren Group is reportedly considering selling a minority stake in its Formula One team as it continues to negotiate a way through the coronavirus crisis.
According to a report from Sky News, the idea of a potential sale has been discussed with advisers and lenders in recent days.
It quotes sources as saying the plan is at a “conceptual stage” and is being considered along with other funding options, including raising capital from existing bondholders.
While bankers have yet to be formally appointed, the report says any transaction is likely to involve selling between 20 and 30 percent of McLaren’s F1 business.
McLaren Group, which is controlled by sovereign wealth fund Bahrain Mumtalakat Holding Co., has been hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic which has delayed the Formula 1 racing series and forced it to halt automotive production. Automakers from Daimler AG to Renault SA have cut or scrapped guidance in recent weeks because of lockdowns tied to Covid-19.
Last month it was reported that the supercar maker and racing team owner was seeking about 300 million pounds ($374 million) in fresh funding just months after completing a similarly-sized capital raise.
McLaren said in March that its existing shareholders had put in 300 million pounds of new equity. It also announced it had appointed Paul Walsh, the former chief executive officer of liquor giant Diageo Plc, as its executive chairman.
McLaren is one of the most renowned names in F1, having won more eight F1 constructors’ championships and boasted drivers of the ilk of Mika Hakkinen, Lewis Hamilton, Alain Prost and Ayrton Senna.