Formula 1

McLaren sell stake to US investors in a bid to challenge at the top once more

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Credit: Steven Tee

MSP Sports Capital, who have major involvement with American Basketball and Major League Baseball, are the leaders of an investment consortium that have obtained a ‘significant minority’ stake in McLaren F1 Team.

The British outfit has been pushing to become regular challengers for victories again in Formula 1 since their decline in 2013, and the investment will no doubt aid their efforts to do so.

The ‘key’ deal was announced just hours before the season-closing Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, with McLaren Racing’s CEO Zak Brown hailing the investment as a ‘new chapter’ which will strengthen the team’s positive momentum as they continue to ‘focus relentlessly’ on their mission to return to the top of the podium.

“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.”

Principal at MSP Jeff Moorad said that the investment group is ‘committed to assist the team in accomplishing its objective of returning to the front of the grid’, and that the ‘exciting opportunity’ signals the growth of McLaren Racing.

The £185m cash injection will be utilised to further McLaren’s long-term goal of returning to their past form which involved race wins and championship contention after a lacklustre few years lingering in the midfield.

Jahm Nafaji, who is the CEO of fellow investor The Nafaji Companies, expressed his delight to have completed such a prestigious deal. He said the ‘increased support’ in McLaren ‘reflects the strength’ of the consortium’s relationship with the iconic racing brand, and referenced his own pride in ‘contributing to the growth and success’ of McLaren.

“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.”

To begin with, the consortium will acquire a 15 per cent stake in McLaren Racing, increasing to 33 per cent by the end of 2022. The deal is not set to affect McLaren’s luxury road car initiative and is solely focussed on McLaren’s Formula 1 project.

As McLaren complete the 2020 season with a remarkable third in the standings, they secure themselves a healthy amount of prize money to further their efforts to advance up the grid next year.

Combined with that, the team will also be running Mercedes power next year, meaning we could witness a revitalised McLaren. The new investment will no doubt assist in this process and so all eyes will be firmly set on the papaya cars at the season-opener in Melbourne.

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Sixteen-year-old Motorsports Journalist covering Formula One for TCF, follow at @jamesthomasf1 on Twitter
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