Currently reading: Bahrain state fund takes full ownership of McLaren Group
Long-awaited share restructure is a step towards funding the company's future product plan

The McLaren Group's largest shareholder, Bahraini sovereign wealth fund Mumtalakat, has taken full ownership of the British firm.

The Bahraini organisation has converted all of its convertible preference shares – which are marked down on the balance sheet as a form of debt – into ordinary shares, taking its stake in McLaren from 60% to 100%. 

No details of any capital injection have been given, but the move raises hopes that the company has also been given the cash to fund future models and its electric transformation to the end of the decade.

By converting different classes of shares to one single type, Mumtalakat can better hope to attract a buyer, float the company on the stock market or secure crucial technological partnerships.

McLaren will not be drawn on the nature of these partnerships and has not named any other companies with which it could collaborate, but it has been open about wanting to establish a technology-sharing agreement with another manufacturer as it prepares to launch its first electric cars. Talks have previously taken place with BMW and Audi, but no other parties have been officially named.

McLaren welcomed the commitment from Mumtalakat. “This will further enable us to focus on delivering our long-term business plan, including investment in new products and technologies, whilst continuing to explore potential technical partnerships with industry partners,” Paul Walsh, McLaren Group Executive Chairman, said in a statement.

McLaren’s automotive arm is the largest element of the company, which includes the Formula 1 race team, but it has struggled to recover since Covid blew a hole in its finances. 

The company has been reliant on support from Mumtalakat and other shareholders as it looks to steady its finances. The McLaren Group received £450 million from shareholders in 2023 to the end of November, the company said, without revealing which shareholders. 

McLaren didn’t say whether Mumtalakat had put in more money during the recapitalisation. However, CEO Michael Leiters told Autocar in August that the company was looking for “the final cash injection to fund the whole business”.

The amount needed would pay for McLaren’s business plan to the end of the decade, including launching the proposed electric SUV that’s tentatively scheduled for around 2028. 

“We have presented to the board and to the shareholders a business plan. It’s a long-term commitment from our shareholders,” said Leiters.

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