Canadian billionaire Lawrence Stroll made a significant move during the Las Vegas Grand Prix weekend, selling a minority stake in the Aston Martin team to US private equity firm Arctos Partners. This marks the first time Stroll has parted with shares in the F1 team, where his son Lance serves as a driver. The deal values the Aston Martin team at about £1 billion, according to a reliable source.
Stroll, who is also the largest shareholder in luxury carmaker Aston Martin Lagonda Global Holdings plc, confirmed that discussions had taken place regarding the increasing value of F1 teams, driven by factors such as cost caps and the growing popularity of the sport. This development comes as F1 gains traction in the US, underlined by the much-anticipated Las Vegas Grand Prix held on the weekend of the deal.
The strategic move to sell a stake in the Aston Martin team was motivated by perceived synergies and commercial opportunities in collaboration with Arctos Partners. Stroll, in an interview with Bloomberg Television, highlighted the potential for growth in the US, emphasizing the strategic focus on working with Arctos, known for its investments in sports assets.
The F1 deal with Arctos Partners is the latest example of increasing valuations and notable transactions in the world of Formula 1. The sport’s rising popularity, particularly fueled by the success of the Netflix documentary series “Drive to Survive,” has contributed to a surge in team valuations. Greg Maffei, CEO of Liberty Media Corp, the parent company of F1, noted the remarkable increase in team values over the years.
The financial landscape of F1 has witnessed several high-profile deals, with teams attracting significant investments. Notably, Renault’s F1 team Alpine secured €200 million from RedBird Capital and Otro Capital, while McLaren’s F1 team received funding from MSP Sports Capital in 2020. These transactions have propelled F1 teams to substantial valuations, illustrating the growing financial significance of the sport.
The Las Vegas Grand Prix, held as the third F1 Grand Prix in the US during the season, is part of Liberty Media’s strategic investment in marketing the sport in the country. Liberty Media has actively promoted F1 in the US since acquiring the sport in 2017.
Importantly, Lawrence Stroll clarified that the Aston Martin F1 team is financially robust and profitable, emphasizing that the team does not require additional funding. This strategic investment is seen as part of Stroll’s broader efforts to revitalize the publicly listed carmaker, Aston Martin Lagonda Global Holdings plc, which he rescued in 2020.
While the terms and valuation of the F1 deal were not disclosed, it is expected to close by the end of the year. Raine Group, a prominent advisory firm, played a role in assisting Aston Martin with the investment transaction.