McLaren sues to access emergency funding

Journalist

McLaren is heading to court in order to free up some assets to gain urgently needed cash to keep the company running in the short term.

McLaren has taken to a UK court in search of £280 million ($508 million) to “support its operations into 2021”.

The carmaker, which specialises in supercars and also runs a prominent Formula 1 team, is looking to use its Woking factory and collection of historic cars to gain access to urgently-needed cash.

McLaren has debts due soon, and needs extra money to meet these obligations “by no later than 17 July 2020”.

There’s just one fly in the ointment: the factory and collection were used as security for a loan back in 2017.

Above: McLaren F1

According to McLaren, the security can be released under certain circumstances, but a group of “hedge funds and distressed debt investors” who want to create a “cash flow crisis and a value destructive insolvency” have refused to accept the company’s proposals.

Ideas offered include selling off the Woking facility and leasing it back, selling part of the automaker’s historic collection, or selling the collection to a new subsidiary in order to facilitate a new loan.

Given McLaren’s fears drawn-out legal wrangling could jeopardise its future, a UK judge has agreed to start a short two- or three-day trial on July 2.

Above: McLaren Technology Centre in Woking

Last month the company announced it would lay off around 1200 of its 4000-strong workforce.

McLaren says “this state of affairs is not the fault of the [company]”, but is due to the COVID-19 pandemic.