LONDON (Reuters) – Hollywood actors Ryan Reynolds and Rob McElhenney are joining Otro Capital and RedBird Capital Partners in an investor group taking a 24% equity stake in Alpine Racing, the Formula One team’s parent company Renault announced on Monday.
The 200 million euro ($218.10 million) deal values British-based Alpine Racing at around $900 million following the investment.
Alec Scheiner, the co-founder and partner of Otro Capital, will join Alpine Racing’s board of directors.
‘Deadpool’ star Reynolds leads Maximum Effort Investments with McElhenney, of American comedy series ‘It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia’, and fellow-actor Michael B. Jordan as co-investors.
Reynolds and McElhenney took over Wrexham in November 2020, funding the Welsh soccer club’s return to the English Football League as fifth-tier champions in April this year.
Their popular docu-series ‘Welcome to Wrexham’ has proved a big hit in North America, propelling the little-known club into the global spotlight.
Renault said Otro and RedBird’s investment included the participation of the Huntsman Family and Main Street Advisors.
U.S. investment firm RedBird, run by former Goldman Sachs banker Gerry Cardinale, is an investor in Fenway Sports Group, the owner of Premier League side Liverpool and the Boston Red Sox baseball team.
RedBird also has a controlling stake in French soccer club Toulouse and bought Italy’s AC Milan last August in a 1.2 billion euro deal that also involved the owners of the New York Yankees baseball team.
Alpine Racing, with a factory at Enstone in central England, won Formula One constructors’ world championships in 2005 and 2006 when they competed as Renault’s works team and also as Benetton in 1995.
They finished fourth in the championship last year and are currently fifth after eight of 22 races.
Renault said Alpine Racing SAS, the French entity that makes the team’s power units in Viry-Châtillon, will remain entirely owned by the carmaker.
“This association is an important step to enhance our performance at all levels,” said Alpine CEO Laurent Rossi.
“Otro Capital, RedBird Capital Partners and Maximum Effort Investments, as international players with strong track record in the sports industry, will bring their recognised expertise to boost our media and marketing strategy, essential to support our sporting performance over the long term.
“The incremental revenue generated will in turn be reinvested in the team, in order to further accelerate our Mountain Climber plan, aimed at catching up with top teams in terms of state-of-the-art facilities and equipment.”
‘Mountain Climber’ is a plan to be fighting for championships within the space of 100 races, starting in 2022.
($1 = 0.9170 euros)
(Reporting by Alan Baldwin, editing by Peter Rutherford)