McLaren sell 'significant minority' stake in Formula 1 operation in £185m deal

ABU DHABI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES - DECEMBER 12: Carlos Sainz of Spain driving the (55) McLaren F1

McLaren have sold a “significant minority” stake in the Formula 1 operation to a United States-based sports investment group in a bid to strengthen the racing team’s long-term future…

MSP Sports Capital will invest £185m into McLaren Racing (F1 and IndyCar), acquiring an initial 15% stake that will increase to 33% by the end of 2022, in a deal that values the team at £560m.

Chief Executive Officer Zak Brown has committed his long term future to the F1 team, with McLaren saying his leadership team headed by boss Andreas Seidl will remain in place.

“This investment represents a key moment in the progress of McLaren Racing,” said Brown. “MSP Sports Capital is first and foremost a sports investor.

“They know the market and their team has considerable experience and proven success in global sports properties. They are a partner as much as a shareholder, with the ability to leverage their network and knowledge for the long-term benefit of McLaren Racing.

This new investment bolsters our plan to return McLaren to contention for race wins and championships in Formula 1

McLaren Racing CEO Zak Brown

“This new investment bolsters our plan to return McLaren to contention for race wins and championships in Formula 1 and IndyCar, and will strengthen our positive momentum as we continue to focus relentlessly on our mission to return to the top of the podium.”

McLaren Group Executive Chairman Paul Walsh added: “Bringing partner capital and expertise into McLaren Racing will support the team’s return to the front of the grid and further strengthen our financial position.

“The fact that we have attracted a strategic investor of MSP Sports Capital’s calibre is testament to the unique history and exciting prospects of McLaren Racing. The business remains part of the McLaren Group and we look forward to working with MSP Sports Capital to deliver the next chapter of growth and success.”

NORTHAMPTON, ENGLAND - AUGUST 09: McLaren Chief Executive Officer Zak Brown walks in the Pitlane

Zak Brown has committed himself to the team for the long term

The investment group have extensive experience in the sports industry, working with Major League Baseball, National Basketball Association and broadcaster ESPN.

The group’s companies include investment firm The Najafi Companies and UBS O’Connor, a hedge fund subsidiary of Swiss bank UBS.

The news comes months after McLaren began exploring the option of selling a partial stake in the racing team as it looked to secure funds to bolster their resources and help take the fight to F1’s big three teams.

Earlier this year, they agreed a loan arrangement with the National Bank of Bahrain to shore up their finances, amid the challenges the coronavirus pandemic has placed on the company.


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