McLaren now fully owned by Bahrain

Bahrain’s sovereign wealth fund, Bahrain Mumtalakat Holding Company, last week became the sole owner of McLaren after buying out all other shareholders in a recapitalization process.

Bahrain Mumtalakat was already the main shareholder of McLaren which is responsible for the McLaren Automotive supercar business and also owns a majority stake in McLaren Racing, the company that operates the McLaren Formula 1 team.

McLaren has been struggling financially since the pandemic. The company has survived on additional funding from existing investors, as well as taking some more extreme measures, like selling historic cars and selling its headquarters in a sale-and-lease-back deal.

In the first nine months of 2023, which is the most recent period for which McLaren’s financial results are available, the company reported a pre-tax loss of 276 million British pounds (approximately $349 million).

McLaren headquarters in Woking, U.K.

McLaren headquarters in Woking, U.K.

To turn the ship around, Bahrain Mumtalakat reached a deal with other shareholders late last year to undertake the recapitalization in order to introduce a simplified share structure with a more streamlined governance process. The move is aimed at making it easier to form potential strategic partnerships with new investors and technology suppliers.

“This reorganization and new simplified structure positions McLaren for success and opens up strategic avenues, which include exploring new partnerships to enhance the company’s growth over the coming years,” Shaikh Abdulla bin Khalifa Al Khalifa, Bahrain Mumtalakat’s CEO, said in a statement.

Aston Martin, which like McLaren doesn’t have a major automaker behind it, established a technology partnership with U.S. EV startup Lucid last year. That partnership will see Lucid supply some of its leading technology to Aston Martin which plans to launch its first EV in 2026.

McLaren could potentially form a similar partnership. The company hasn’t announced plans for an EV just yet, and if it does it will likely be something other than a supercar. CEO Michael Leiters has said that EV tech won’t be suitable for a supercar until the end of the decade. He’s also said that McLaren is open to new segments, like the ever-popular SUV segment.

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