McLaren Racing lands significant investment from MSP Sports Capital

McLaren Racing investment MSP
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McLaren Racing announced a significant minority investment from MSP Sports Capital on the same day they secured third-place in the Formula 1 constructors championship.

MSP Sports Capital is joined in the investment by their strategic partners UBS O’Connor LLC and The Najaffi Companies in a deal to acquire a 15 percent stake in McLaren initially with a plan to increase to a maximum of 33 percent by the end of 2022. With this investment, the valuation of the company is reported to be 560 million pounds post money, or about $747.7 million in US dollars.

The McLaren Group remains the majority stakeholder after the MSP Sports Capital group invests about $247 million.

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

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

“This investment represents a key moment in the progress of McLaren Racing,” Brown said. “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.”

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.

Moorad was previously one of the owners of Hall of Fame Racing, which fielded cars in the NASCAR Cup series from 2006 through 2009.

The news came before the start of the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix and spurred the McLaren drivers to top 10 finishes. Lando Norris finished fifth with Carlos Sainz in sixth, which was enough to place them third in the constructors championship by seven points over Racing Point. Mercedes and Red Bull finished first and second respectively.

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