British Virgin Isles based body Nidala Limited have purchased 888,135 shares in the McLaren Group, thought to have cost in the region of £200 million.
It is believed that Nidala have strong connections to FIA Formula 2 and current Sahara Force India F1 Team reserve driver Nicholas Latifi through the Canadian’s father, Michael. Rumours have gathered that Nidala stands for the 22-year-old’s full name, Nicholas Daniel Latifi.
A McLaren spokesperson refrained from naming the shareholders of Nidala yesterday, saying that McLaren were “not at liberty to disclose details,” before adding. “This is, as you will know, not uncommon practice.”
The spokesperson also remained coy on a potential drive for Latifi, who currently sits ninth in the F2 championship, being included in the deal.
Speaking to journalists in Barcelona earlier this week, Chief Executive Officer of McLaren Racing Zak Brown said that McLaren were “financially secure”, however the Woking team have been without a title sponsor since their deal with telecommunications giants Vodafone ended at the climax of the 2013 season.
“Our shareholders have been in the sport a long time. They completely understand the sport,” Brown said.
“If you look at the sponsorship that’s come in to Formula 1 teams this year, we’ve brought in more new partners than anyone else. They’re patient, understanding, know the sport. We all want to bring in as many sponsor partners as possible, but they also know it’s not that easy.”
Mclaren have struck deals with major companies such as DELL computers and Brazilian fuel leaders Petrobras in the past 12 months, alongside holding a working partnership with Fernando Alonso‘s lifestyle brand, Kimoa. When speaking to Autosport last February, Brown said that McLaren presently are not looking for a title sponsor, however, he remains eager to attract a “principal partner”.
“We don’t want a title sponsor, but let me clarify what that means – we do want a principal partner, which is title-level branding,” he revealed.
“I don’t think we will have a principal partner going into this season. We definitely want one. We want to get back to where we were in sponsorship over a three to four year period.
“We are on target for our financial goals for sponsorship revenue for this year, and that will just build momentum.”