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RBS lends McLaren 120m to drive growth

NEWS STORY
20/01/2015

McLaren's supercar division has revealed that several banks, led by the Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS), have given it a 120m loan to fuel expansion according to an article in the London Evening Standard by Christian Sylt.

McLaren Automotive has different owners to the Formula One team which shares its name. The latter is owned by the McLaren Technology Group which, until recently, was simply known as the McLaren Group. Bahrain's sovereign wealth fund Mumtalakat has a 50% stake in it with the remainder split between chairman Ron Dennis and Saudi conglomerate TAG. The three also own stakes in McLaren Automotive but it has additional investment from Singaporean billionaire Peter Lim.

The car maker was spun out of the McLaren Technology Group in 2010 and until the end of last year its debt had been reversing. In 2013 172m of McLaren Automotive's debt was swapped for equity according to its latest accounts. It boosted the company's net assets by 200m to 216.7m and left it with 75m of interest-bearing loans. Although it has burned up 99.1m of net losses since 2010 it is a different story before tax is deducted.

In 2013 it made a 4.5m pre-tax profit on revenues of 285.4m which were up by 18.8m. It continued on this path last year as sales accelerated 21% when 1,648 cars were delivered including 248 of its 1m P1 model.

Asia-Pacific was the biggest growth region as sales there increased 80% fuelled by the opening of 11 new dealerships. North America is McLaren's largest market and accounts for more than 30% of overall revenue, whilst sales in Europe and the Middle East both grew by around 10%. McLaren's network covers 30 markets and is expected to grow in 2015.

This year it is also expanding at the top and bottom of its model range as a limited edition P1 GTR will enter production whilst in spring it will introduce a new Sports Series at a price of around 150,000. It is understood that McLaren aims to produce 4,000 cars annually by 2016 and the new loan will help it hit that goal.

The money was transferred on 23 December and revealed in documents recently released by McLaren. Alongside RBS, the lead arrangers are Barclays, HSBC, Santander UK and NatWest. According to the documents, "the lenders have agreed to make available... loan facilities in an aggregate principal amount of up to 120,000,000."

It is secured on all of McLaren's intellectual property, equipment and real estate including its factory in Surrey which was designed by Sir Norman Foster and was opened in November 2011 by David Cameron.

"We can confirm that a loan is in place for investment into future models and growth of McLaren Automotive, in line with the company's business plan," says a spokesperson for the company. Time will tell whether it will be able to drive it into the black.

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