McLaren announces 185m investment


The McLaren Group has announced that it has attracted significant new long-term investment into McLaren Racing led by MSP Sports Capital, the US-based sports investment group.

The move, according to the company, will help drive its plan to return to the top in F1 and continue its growth as a global sports franchise.

MSP is co-investing with its strategic partners UBS O'Connor, LLC. and The Najafi Companies, the Phoenix-based investment firm.

MSP Sports Capital is a diversified sports investment group with strategic stakes in properties at the intersection of global media rights, distribution technologies, content creation, sponsorship, esports, betting, and data.

Its principals are experienced, well-known figures in the sports industry, as owners, investors and operators in Major League Baseball (MLB), National Basketball Association (NBA), ESPN, and sports management.

The transaction sees MSP acquire a significant minority shareholding in the team, with McLaren Group remaining the majority shareholder.

MSP Sports Capital will invest a total of 185m ($241m) into McLaren Racing, acquiring an initial 15% stake that will increase to a maximum of a 33% shareholding by the end of 2022. The transaction values McLaren Racing at 560m ($731m), post-money.

Zak Brown has committed to McLaren Racing for the long term and his leadership team continues in place. Paul Walsh will sit as chairman of McLaren Racing, while Jahm Najafi and Shaikh Mohammed bin Essa Al Khalifa will become vice-chairmen.

As part of the transaction, Jeff Moorad of MSP Sports Capital and Rodrigo Trelles Zabala of UBS O'Connor are appointed to the board of directors of McLaren Racing, alongside Sultan Ojjeh and Will Griffiths of McLaren Group.

McLaren Automotive remains wholly-owned by the McLaren Group and is not part of this transaction.

"The partnership we are announcing today represents another important step in our proactive strategy to position McLaren Group for long-term success," said Paul Walsh, Executive Chairman, McLaren Group. "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."

"This investment represents a key moment in the progress of McLaren Racing," added Zak 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 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."

"We're excited about the opportunity to support Zak Brown and his management team and to help grow the McLaren Racing brand," said Jeff Moorad, Principal at MSP. "We're committed to assist the team in accomplishing its objective of returning to the front of the grid."

"As a partner in MSP, I am delighted that The Najafi Companies has significantly increased our support of MSP and its investment in McLaren," added Jahm Najafi, Principal of MSP and Chairman/CEO of The Najafi Companies. "This investment reflects the strength of our relationship, as well as the confidence we have in the McLaren Racing team platform. I am delighted to accept the role of vice-chairman and look forward to contributing to the growth and success of McLaren Racing."

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Published: 13/12/2020
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