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RBS loans McLaren £50m to buy supercar factory opened by PM
British supercar manufacturer McLaren has taken out a £50m loan from Royal Bank of Scotland to fund the acquisition of its factory in Surrey, which was opened in November 2011 by David Cameron.

McLaren’s Formula One team celebrates its 50th anniversary on Monday, but the company has been making its own road cars and engines only since 2011. Photo: EPA
By Christian Sylt and Caroline Reid
9:00PM BST 01 Sep 2013
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McLaren’s Formula One team celebrates its 50th anniversary on Monday, but the company has been making its own road cars and engines only since 2011.

All of its models, including the flagship 204mph 12C coupé, are built at the McLaren Production Centre, designed by Sir Norman Foster and housing nearly 800 employees. Its next-generation £966,000 P1 is under development there and is due to reach customers in 2014.

Recently-filed documents show that on July 31 the loan was secured on the entire share capital of McLaren Automotive Asia, the company’s Singapore-based hub for the Asia Pacific region. RBS was the lead arranger, with its subsidiary NatWest as the contracting party.

A McLaren spokesman said: “RBS loaned McLaren Automotive £50m to purchase the McLaren Production Centre from McLaren Group. The purchase of the production centre has given McLaren Automotive control over a major asset with which it does business.”

McLaren Group itself got debt from HSBC in 2010 to fund construction of the automotive factory.

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The two companies have different ownership, with 50pc of McLaren Group owned by Bahraini sovereign wealth fund Mumtalakat and the remainder split between Group chairman Ron Dennis and Saudi conglomerate TAG. The three also own stakes in McLaren Automotive but it has additional investment from Singaporean billionaire Peter Lim.

Issuing shares to new investors generated £150m for McLaren Automotive in 2011 and fuelled the first 12C production run. A total of 400 cars were sold by December 31, 2011, the most recent year for which accounts are available. This drove revenue to £68.9m, from £6.4m the previous year. In 2011, the shareholders also provided an additional £10m in loan financing, which brought the amount owed to them up to £211.5m.

The financing enabled the development of new vehicles and during 2011 £66.6m was invested in new road car projects. McLaren also focused on building up its dealership network throughout the year, appointing 36 dealers globally, 27 of which were trading before the year end. Another 13 retail partners were appointed in 2012 as the company pushed into new markets, with dealerships launched in key markets such as the United States, Japan, Singapore and the Middle East.
 

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Don’t know how far 50-mill will go. I recall the MD, saying that it had cost 25mill just to develop the gear box…
 

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Don’t know how far 50-mill will go. I recall the MD, saying that it had cost 25mill just to develop the gear box…
Well, I know for sure that 50 million is definitely not enough to keep that soccer player from going to team Madrid :)
 

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Talking with the PM from the Viper project, Father Viper as he is referred to, he stated that from start to production of a car like the new Dart the cost was around $2B (yes, billion). They got the Viper started with $50M total investment and look where the car went from there. Obviously that was over 20 years ago too. He also stated all the finagling that occurred to meet the budget... A/C controllers from a Ford Taurus, headlights from the BMW Z1 that never went into production, ash tray from an Aris-K, seats & steering column from Corvette, knuckles from a Dakota..... The list goes on and on. McLaren mandated "Pure McLaren". So how they built the 12c & P1 for the money they did is absolutely amazing. Talk about stretch a dime into a dollar!
 
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