McLaren is selling some of its vast collection of historical sports cars and Formula 1 cars to raise capital, as Bloomberg reported and Car and Driver confirmed with a McLaren spokesperson.
The additional capital is needed to fund "certain technical upgrades" for the Artura supercar that have led to delivery delays, the automaker said.
The Artura features a hybrid V-6 powertrain and is being produced on an all-new platform called MCLA.
McLaren is taking a creative move to deal with a looming financial burden that appears to be closing in. As first reported by Bloomberg, the British sports-car manufacturer has sold cars from its own collection of heritage vehicles to help it fund the upcoming Artura hybrid supercar—but without losing custody of them.
A McLaren spokesperson declined to provide Car and Driver with a list of which vehicles were sold but confirmed that the cars are not going away. In fact, they're being licensed back to McLaren and are staying at the Woking headquarters. McLaren is hoping to buy the entire collection back as part of recapitalization plan involving shareholders, which it hopes to have finalized in Q1 next year according to the spokesperson.
It's no secret that McLaren has been strapped for cash for a few years now. In 2020, after pausing production and cutting 1200 employees from its workforce, the Woking, England, based outfit was bailed out by the National Bank of Bahrain. No surprise there, given that the Bahrain Sovereign Wealth Fund (Mumtalakat) is the primary shareholder of both the bank and McLaren. In that same year, the company was denied a line of credit with the British government worth roughly $160 million. One year later, McLaren agreed to a deal wherin the company would sell its Woking headquarters to a real estate investment trust for slightly over $200 million and stay on as a tenant on a 20-year lease.
McLaren has been trying to sell from its collection for at least two years, but the company received pushback from holders of pre-existing debt. McLaren's 2021 annual report states that there are about 54 vehicles in the collection and notes: "There is a market for these assets, and the Group may determine as appropriate to sell a specific and limited number of these cars to specialist collectors from around the world." As of December 31, 2021, the heritage collection was worth the equivalent of about $42 million, according to the same annual report. That's no surprise for a collection that includes Formula 1 cars driven by Niki Lauda, Alain Prost, Ayrton Senna, and Mika Häkkinen plus the car that brought Lewis Hamilton his maiden World Championship.
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