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McLaren announces stake sale in Racing arm

McLaren has confirmed that it has sold a minority stake in its Formula 1 team to a US-based consortium as part of a £185 million investment deal.

Carlos Sainz Jr., McLaren MCL35

As reported on Saturday, McLaren is entering a partnership with a consortium led by sports investment group MSP Sport Capital, which is joining forces with UBS O’Connor, LLC. and The Najafi Companies.

MSP will acquire a 15 percent stake in McLaren initially, but will increase its shareholding to a maximum of 33 percent by the end of 2022. The deal values the McLaren team at £560 million.

There will be change in the day-to-day management at the team, with CEO Zak Brown committing his long term future there, while Paul Walsh will remain as chairman.

However new investor Jahm Najafi will sit alongside Shaikh Mohammed bin Essa Al Khalifa as vice-chairmen.

Furthermore, 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.

Brown said: “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.”

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With the McLaren group having faced financial troubles this year as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, the arrival of new investors will be a massive boost to the F1 team as it bids to build on a successful 2020 campaign.

Back in June, the Woking-based operation agreed a £150 million loan arrangement with the National Bank of Bahrain to help increase liquidity amid mounting concerns over a short term cash flow problem.

It is also looking at further company restructuring to help secure its future, and is in the process of selling its factory so it can then lease it back.

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