Carlos Sainz Jnr, McLaren, Circuit de Catalunya, 2020

McLaren to sell stake in F1 team to US-based investors

2020 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix

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McLaren is expected to announce it will sell a stake in its Formula 1 team to a group of American investors, one of which has previously tried to buy a rival outfit.

MSP Sports Capital is leading a consortium which will invest in the British-based team. Jeff Moorad, a partner at the company, looked into buying Force India in 2018, prior to its purchase by Lawrence Stroll.

MSP has previously been involved with other sports organisations include American football and baseball teams and European football clubs.

News of the sale was revealed by Sky. McLaren has not confirmed the deal, but has scheduled a press conference with McLaren Racing CEO Zak Brown for tomorrow afternoon in Abu Dhabi, ahead of the final race of the season at the Yas Marina track.

The news comes at the end of financially challenging year for McLaren. The group announced in May it would lay off around 1,200 staff, mostly from outside its Racing operation, following the impact of the pandemic. It took a £150 million loan from the National Bank of Bahrain the following month. It is also arranging a sale-and-leaseback of its McLaren Technology Centre headquarters in Woking to raise further capital.

The new deal will value McLaren Racing at £560m and bring £185m of equity into the company. The MSP-led consortium will include private investment firm The Najafi Companies and UBS O’Connor, an independent subsidiary of the Swiss investment bank.

The ownership of McLaren is currently split between Mumtalakat – the sovereign wealth fund of Bahrain – which holds 56%, Mansour Ojjeh’s TAG company (14%) and Nicholas Latifi’s father Michael, who acquired 10% of the company in 2018. The remainder is shared between other smaller stakeholders.

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2020 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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7 comments on “McLaren to sell stake in F1 team to US-based investors”

  1. Bring back Uncle Ron….. :(

    1. @mrfabulous why do you think that Ron is the solution? The same Ron Dennis that might have helped turn McLaren around in the 1980s is not necessarily the leader they need under very different circumstances more than 40 years later.

      As has been pointed out before, the biggest problems for McLaren lie in the automotive division of the company, not the racing team. The criticism is that part of the issues that side of McLaren faces is a consequence of the original business plan that Ron laid out, which has resulted in the automotive division producing too many models for the market to absorb – it is an issue that seems to be impacting the high performance car sector on a wider level, but McLaren in particular seems to have been especially badly hit.

      It therefore begs the question of whether Ron should be called in when he was one of the figures who helped create the problems that the company currently has.

    2. The current leadership is good right now, so no.

  2. The new deal will value McLaren Racing at £560m and bring £185m of equity into the company.

    Thus watering down Latifi’s shareholding to just under 7% with a value of £37.5M.
    Not a good ride when investing 200M and getting no dividend nor a seat for your son.

    1. That is incorrect. Michael Latifi owns 10% of McLaren Group, of which Mclaren Racing is but a part. He will still own 10% of the Group, whose biggest division is McLaren Automotive

  3. Call me a dinosaur, but it is still odd not to see Ron Dennis listed as a major McLaren shareholder.

    1. You’re not the only one don’t worry.

      I occasionally miss ronspeak!

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