McLaren Eyes £100m Sports Car Deal
The British manufacturer of some of the world's most expensive sports cars is kicking off a £100m fundraising to accelerate its international expansion.
I have learnt that in recent days McLaren Automotive has begun sounding out prospective investors about providing capital to fund the loss-making company's growth.
Earlier this week, it unveiled the P1, its latest model, at the Geneva Motor Show, claiming it was the most technologically-advanced British sports car ever produced.
The P1 is expected to have a price tag of £700,000 and only 375 of the cars will be manufactured, according to Mclaren.
The new fundraising follows the separation of McLaren Automotive from the rest of the McLaren Group, which includes the Formula One racing team, in 2009.
Two years ago, it raised roughly £150m from investors including Peter Lim, a Singaporean billionaire, while exiting investors included Mumtalakat, the Bahraini sovereign wealth fund, and TAG Group, a conglomerate headed by a Saudi businessman.
Credit Suisse, which helped McLaren Automotive raise the initial £150m of funding, is understood to have been replaced as the company's financial adviser for the latest phase of the capital-raising by another investment bank, insiders said.
A McLaren spokesman said: "In line with previous statements, McLaren Automotive is in ongoing discussions to secure the second round of planned funding to support the future growth of our successful business."
Accounts filed at Companies House last month showed that McLaren Automotive made a post-tax loss of nearly £54m in 2011. It is understood to have been closer to breaking even last year.
McLaren Automotive's sports cars are produced at its £50m production centre in Surrey, which was opened in November 2011 by David Cameron, the Prime Minister.
Despite the losses, McLaren is understood to have met internal sales targets with more than 1400 cars sold in 2012.
It recently opened its 40th dealership in a network which now spans 24 markets. Later this year it will open dealerships in China for the first time, helping the company to access a vital emerging market.