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Bahrain Secures Full Ownership Of McLaren Supercar Company

Bahrain’s sovereign wealth fund has acquired full ownership of the McLaren Group, the renowned manufacturer of high-end sports cars and the majority stakeholder in the McLaren F1 team. While McLaren Racing extends Zak Brown’s contract as CEO through 2030.

The Bahraini fund, Mumtalakat, already held the position of McLaren’s largest shareholder before finalizing this deal.

This development comes amidst a period of significant financial turbulence for the British company, which has been grappling with substantial losses.

Describing it as a “major milestone,” McLaren welcomed the acquisition, signaling a potential turning point for the company.

McLaren is now reportedly exploring collaborative opportunities with other firms to advance its electric vehicle technology.

“We are delighted at Mumtalakat’s continued commitment to McLaren through this deal,” stated McLaren Group’s executive chairman, Paul Walsh.

“This will further enable us to focus on delivering our long-term business plan, including investment in new products and technologies, while continuing to explore potential technical partnerships with industry partners.”

Headquartered in Woking, Surrey, the McLaren Group encompasses McLaren Automotive, a key player in the prestige sports car market for over a decade.

Its offerings rival those of industry giants such as Ferrari and Porsche.

Additionally, the group holds a controlling interest in McLaren Racing, which oversees the McLaren Formula 1 team and participates in events like the US IndyCar series, Formula E, and Extreme E.

McLaren’s financial struggles stem from the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, which disrupted production and racing activities globally.

The company underwent a significant restructuring in 2020, resulting in the loss of over 1,000 jobs.

Compounding its woes were supply chain disruptions, particularly a shortage of computer chips, following the post-pandemic economic recovery.

Issues with its new Artura hybrid sports car further exacerbated the situation, prompting production halts and delivery delays.

In the last nine months of the previous year, McLaren reported a pre-tax loss of £276 million.

Mumtalakat’s association with McLaren dates back to 2007, when it acquired a 30% stake from the company’s founders, Ron Dennis and Mansour Ojjeh.

Over time, Mumtalakat increased its ownership to 60% while injecting substantial capital into the business.

The decision to assume full control, initially agreed upon last year, offers a short-term boost to McLaren’s financial position.

Moreover, streamlining the complex shareholder structure is expected to facilitate future partnerships, according to sources within the organization.

McLaren is actively seeking technical collaborations to diversify its product range, with a particular focus on electric vehicles.

Reports suggest discussions have taken place with potential partners like Polestar, a Swedish company owned by the Chinese group Geely.

Other entities, including Hyundai, BMW, and Californian electric vehicle brand Lucid Motors, have also been reportedly engaged in talks.

Any forthcoming agreement might involve Mumtalakat divesting a minority stake in McLaren Group to its chosen partner.

 

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