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Saudis selling McLaren stake to Bahrain?

NEWS STORY
22/06/2023

Saudi Arabia's Public Investment Fund (PIF) is understood to be selling its stake in McLaren to Bahrain's state investment fund Mumtalakat.

The deal, which is expected to go ahead today (Thursday), would make Bahrain the company's biggest shareholder.

According to Sky News, Mumtalakat, is buying the preference shares in McLaren Group, which includes McLaren Racing as well as the Supercar division, held by PIF and Ares Management.

However, the private deal between the two funds will not see any new investment in the company, PIF and Ares having invested 400m in July 2021.

That said, Sky claims that Mumtalakat is likely to need to invest further in the coming months as McLaren seeks to strengthen its balance sheet.

PIF's decision to sell to Bahrain comes at the time the Saudi sovereign wealth fund is making the headlines in terms of its attempts to lure the world's best football players to its domestic league and the merger of the LIV golf series with the US PGA Tour.

Last year it was revealed that Mumtalakat had acquired a sizeable chunk of McLaren's heritage car collection as part of a 100m commitment to the business, while earlier this year there was 70m investment as part of the group's restructuring.

The most recent investment was for McLaren Automotive, which has faced all number of issues over the last few years, while McLaren Racing is a standalone and not in need of additional financial support.

Last year, McLaren named former Ferrari executive Michael Leiters as the head of its road car division, one of his first moves being the sale of a stake in McLaren Racing to a separate group of investors in addition to the 170m sale-and-leaseback of its Surrey HQ.

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