McLaren team principal Andreas Seidl says a planned sale of the outfit’s Woking factory will have zero impact on the Formula 1 operation.
A report on Sky News this week revealed that McLaren aimed to boost its cashflow by selling the McLaren Technology Centre and then leasing it back. It is hoped that the move could raise around £200 million.
It is suggested that property agent Colliers has been instructed to begin the sale process.
News of the factory sale comes in the wake of a major financial headache for McLaren earlier this year, as the coronavirus pandemic hit both its automotive and racing businesses.
It had to arrange a £150 million loan with the National Bank of Bahrain to see it through the lockdown period, and it has looked at other financing ideas too – including the potential sale of a minority stake in the team.
But despite the move to raise extra cash through the factory sale, Seidl is clear that it is not an urgent response to any fresh financial concerns – and is instead part of what was planned earlier in the year.
Asked by Motorsport.com about if there were new cashflow concerns, Seidl said: “No, that’s simply a part of the refinancing strategy that has been announced earlier in the year of the McLaren group. It doesn’t affect our daily business on the F1 side. And that’s all really from my side.”
McLaren echoed Seidl’s comments in a statement that the sale was something in the planning for months, as the Woking-based company tried to plot its way out of the coronavirus crisis.
“The potential sale and leaseback of our global headquarters and the appointment of banks to advise us on a debt restructuring and equity raise are part of the comprehensive refinancing strategy that we announced earlier this year,” the team said.
“Building on the shorter-term measures that we put in place over the summer, these initiatives will deliver a stronger balance sheet and ensure that McLaren Group has a sustainable platform for long-term growth and investment.
“The proposed sale and leaseback mirrors best practice among leading companies and will have no impact on our day-to-day operations.”
The McLaren Technology Centre is one of the most iconic F1 factories, and was the brainchild of former team boss Ron Dennis.
The original planning application for the facility was lodged as far back as 1995, with staff first working in the Norman Foster designed building from 2003.
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