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McLaren Group announces new investment in McLaren Racing

From strategic sports investor, MSP Sports Capital


By Olivier Ferret

13 December 2020 - 10:18
McLaren Group announces new investment

 US sports investment group acquires significant minority shareholding in McLaren Racing
 Introduction of partner capital and expertise forms part of the Group’s ongoing strategy
 Transaction values McLaren Racing at £560m post-money, and strengthens team’s long-term plan for regular Formula 1 championship contention
 Reaffirms team’s position at the heart of McLaren Group

McLaren Group announced today that it has attracted significant new long-term investment into McLaren Racing led by MSP Sports Capital, the US-based sports investment group, to help drive its plan to return to the top in Formula 1 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.

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. MSP Sports Capital’s 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 Sports Capital acquire a significant minority shareholding in the team, with McLaren Group remaining the majority shareholder. MSP Sports Capital will invest a total of £185m 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, post-money.

CEO 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.

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

Paul Walsh, Executive Chairman, McLaren Group, commented:

“The partnership we are announcing today represents another important step in our proactive strategy to position McLaren Group for long-term success. 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.”

Zak Brown, CEO, McLaren Racing, commented:

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

Jeff Moorad, Principal at MSP added:

“We’re excited about the opportunity to support Zak Brown and his management team and to help grow the McLaren Racing brand. We’re committed to assist the team in accomplishing its objective of returning to the front of the grid.”

Jahm Najafi, Principal of MSP and Chairman/CEO of The Najafi Companies said:

“As a partner in MSP, I am delighted that The Najafi Companies has significantly increased our support of MSP and its investment in McLaren. 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.”

About MSP Sports Capital

MSP Sports Capital is an operationally focused private investment manager targeting tactical investments in sports and the related sports ecosystem. MSP seeks opportunities in dynamic sports-related sectors where its investment partners can support value creation and corporate efficiencies. MSP’s 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. MSP is headquartered in New York.

About the Najafi Companies

The Najafi Companies is an entrepreneurially-driven private investment firm which makes highly selective investments across industries with significant holdings in consumer, sports, media, ecommerce, retail and technology. By funding its investments with internally generated capital and utilizing a strategy of concentration, not diversification, Najafi is empowered to think long-term, remain highly flexible and operate in true alignment with management. The team’s passion is to create value in areas that are underserved or undergoing rapid transformation, and during these uncertain times, The Najafi Companies continues its mission to “do well and do good” and partner with world-class, entrepreneurial teams. Headquartered in Phoenix with offices in LA and NY.

About UBS O’Connor

UBS Asset Management is a large-scale asset manager with a presence in 23 markets. It offers investment capabilities and investment styles across all major traditional and alternative asset classes to institutions, wholesale intermediaries and wealth management clients around the world.

UBS O’Connor is UBS Asset Management’s global single-manager hedge fund platform, offering both multi-strategy and standalone capabilities, with USD 7.1 billion in assets under management as of November 1, 2020.


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