‘Fought throughout 2020 to survive’

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CEO Zak Brown has admitted that McLaren was on the mend just over a year ago, with the team in danger of going under for financial reasons. “It makes a world of difference.”

Brown acknowledges this in an interview with The-Race. The American cites that McLaren is now ‘extremely healthy’. And not only that. “We just bought an Indycar team, started a team in Extreme E, fighting in Formula 1 with Ferrari, have great drivers, a great team and a new wind tunnel is coming.”

So there is a big turnaround, because during 2020 McLaren was in very difficult financial weather. The entire, overarching McLaren Group had been hit hard by the corona pandemic. Car sales came to a standstill, bills piled up and the cash flow had dried up.

Also read: Loan from Bahraini bank should help McLaren get through corona crisis

capital injections

McLaren already borrowed no less than 165 million euros from the National Bank of Bahrain in mid-2020 to overcome the first corona blows. At the end of that year, the rescue came in the form of a hefty investment from the American MSP Sports Capital. That fund invested 152 million euros in McLaren Racing, against fifteen percent of the shares.

“Without that investment, we might not be here today,” Brown admits The-Race. “It was pretty serious,” Brown says of the situation. “I’m sure we would have found a solution, but it was pretty serious.”

Also read: McLaren partly in the hands of American investor after the sale of shares

Apart from the investment by MSP Sports Capital, McLaren still filled the greenhouse by selling the headquarters in Woking. It sold this for about 200 million euros to investment company GNL. McLaren may still be waiting for an investment from MSP Sports Capital, which could expand its stake to a third.

No problem

“I’m very happy with the outcome,” Brown compares the situation then with that of today. “We’re healthy now, don’t worry.” Although McLaren has been reviving since 2019 from a sporting point of view, it is also nice to have solid ground financially.

“It was stressful going full throttle on the track, but fighting for survival without letting the world know.” According to Brown, it has also given everyone at McLaren a huge boost that this has been achieved. “What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.”

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