McLaren mulls sale of headquarters to raise cash

McLaren Group is considering a sale of its global headquarters as part of a refinancing strategy the company announced earlier this year.

The U.K. supercar maker has also appointed banks to advise on a debt restructuring and equity raise to buttress its balance sheet, it said in a statement Thursday. McLaren’s headquarters are in Woking, on the southwestern edge of London.

McLaren has struggled since the coronavirus outbreak. A 300 million-pound ($389 million) equity raise early this year has not been enough to face an almost 70 percent revenue collapse throughout the pandemic.

After achieving global sales approaching 5,000 in 2018 and 2019, McLaren’s volume will be significantly lower in 2020 as the automaker grapples with the sales impact of the pandemic, its CEO, Mike Flewitt, has said. He anticipates selling about 2,700 vehicles globally in 2020.

McLaren sought emergency funds over the summer offering its headquarters and historic car collection as collateral. But existing creditors opposed the plan in court, eventually forcing the company to raise 150 million pounds from National Bank of Bahrain BSC, a lender linked to its largest shareholder Mumtalakat, Bahrain’s sovereign wealth fund.

McLaren needs to fix its finances to continue developing models that allows it to compete with rivals such as Ferrari.

The automaker is also working to increase the proportion of its components that are made in the UK as the transition period for Britain leaving the European Union ends this year.

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