McLaren sells minority stake in F1 team to MSP Sports Capital
McLaren has sold a 33 per cent stake in its F1 team to US-based MSP Sports Capital as part of attempts to raise extra cash amid the coronavirus pandemic.
The sports investment group will pay £185m for its share of McLaren Racing, valuing the team at £560m.
It comes just days after the supercar maker told the FT that it was seeking to raise around £500m in new equity through a number of different approaches.
Executive chairman Paul Walsh said: “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.”
McLaren’s drive to raise new equity comes after a year in which it saw sales fall more than 60 per cent, while its pre-tax loss increased to £312.9m.
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As a result of the pandemic, the firm was forced to lay off a quarter of its staff over the summer and seek emergency funding to see it through the pandemic.
It is also continuing with the sale-and-leaseback of its iconic headquarters in Woking, which would help to reduce the amount it needed to raise.
Finally, the firm has confirmed that it is mulling going public through a “spac” – special purpose acquisition company – to get the equity it needs.
MSP has a range of interests, including media rights, betting, content creation, esports, and data.
The firm is co-investing with its strategic partners UBS O’Connor and the Najafi Companies.
Current McLaren Racing chief executive Zak Brown will remain in position, with Walsh as chairman. Jahm Najafi and Shaikh Mohammed bin Essa Al Khalifa will become vice-chairmen.
The consortium will initially acquire a 15 per cent stake in McLaren Racing, rising to 33 per cent by the end of 2022.