Canadian Michael Latifi, chairman and CEO of Marham, Ont.-based Sofina Foods, has acquired a 10% share in McLaren Group through his British Virgin Islands-based company Nidala Limited.
As confirmed by McLaren on its investors portal, Nidala bought 888,135 common shares of the company for £203.8 million (more than $349 million Canadian), resulting in the acquisition of 10% of shares to become the third largest shareholder in the Group that oversees racing, auto production and applied technology operations.
The Bahraini royal family is the majority shareholder in McLaren, owning 56% through its Mumtalakat investment fund, and French-Saudi entrepreneur Mansour Ojjeh, through his Luxembourg-based holding company Tag, owns 14%.
“This injection of capital is a vote of confidence in our future strategy and the Group remains as focused as ever in positioning for growth,” said McLaren Group Executive Chairman Shaikh Mohammed bin Essa Al Khalifa.
The capital investment from Nidala will be transferred through 2018, and will go toward strengthening McLaren’s balance sheet as it follows its ambitious 5-year growth plan, explained a release announcing the stock acquisition.
“I have been an admirer of the McLaren brand and its businesses for some time,” said Latifi, whose son races in Formula 2 for the French DAMS team. “McLaren is a unique organisation in automotive, racing and technology with exciting long-term growth prospects, which is why I have made this investment.”
Besides racing Formula 2, Nicholas Latifi also serves as Sahara Force India’s Formula 1 development driver. The release from McLaren states unequivocally that there was no connection between the deal and the 22-year-old’s racing career.