McLaren Racing CEO Zak Brown says he is confident his team has the resources in place to return to the front of the Formula 1 grid amid plans to sell its Woking factory.

The McLaren Group is looking to sell their McLaren Technology Centre and lease it back in order to boost its cashflow and shore up their finances, having already secured a £150m loan with the National Bank of Bahrain earlier this year.

Speaking on Friday ahead of the Tuscan Grand Prix, McLaren team principal Andreas Seidl stressed the sale of the outfit’s headquarters would have no impact on its F1 operation.

“We have a good five-year business plan for this next era for Formula 1,” Brawn said during a video call with reporters on Saturday. “I’m confident we have resources and people in place to give us what we want to get back to the front.”

“We’re going to issue a traditional sales lease back,” he added. “The majority of companies in this world don’t actually own the real estate they are tenants of. We have a lot of cash tied up in that building and that is not a very productive use of funds when you’re looking to invest in your business.

“We’ll ultimately sell the facility to someone. We’ll then do an extremely long-term lease and then we’ll use that money to help us grow our business. It’s a pretty simple financial restructuring exercise.

“We have a good chunk of debt, now Paul [Walsh, McLaren Group Executive Chairman] is starting to set a direction to give us a stronger balance sheet, invest in the right areas, ultimately grow our companies and be financially a much stronger company. We’re very excited.”

According to a report by Sky News, McLaren is seeking up to £200m from the sale of its Surrey HQ which was completed in 2003 and is one of the most iconic and recognisable F1 factories.

“We’re fine financially from a cashflow standpoint,” Brawn explained. “When Covid hit and it turned off our F1 business, our automotive business and to a certain extent our technology business, that consumed an immediate amount of cash. We’ve now done that.

“We have now plenty of runway to make sound business decisions. I think the sale leaseback is a good decision.

“As while we will rent it, it’ll be a lease so we’re paying for it every year, the growth we’ll be able to generate for our business by taking those resources and putting them into the business, we should be able to multiple the money we’re giving because we’ll be able to drive the business to the next level. I do think it’s the right decision.

“That’s why you see many corporations are just tenants of their buildings. They don’t own their buildings.”

 

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