A trio of Hollwood A-listers are investing in a Formula One team in a deal worth $325 million, adding to their portfolio of sporting teams.
Hollywood actors Ryan Reynolds and Rob McElhenney have joined Formula One team Alpine as major investors, taking a 24 per cent equity stake in the outfit.
Alpine’s parent company Renault announced on Monday that Reynolds, McElhenney and Michael B. Jordan were joining Otro Capital and RedBird Capital Partners in an investment deal worth 200 million euros (AUD $325 million).
Alec Scheiner, the co-founder and partner of Otro Capital, will join Alpine Racing’s board of directors.
Reynolds leads Maximum Effort Investments with McElhenney and Creed star Jordan as co-investors.
The Deadpool star and his wife Blake Lively’s net worth is $690 million.
Reynolds earned himself a juicy pay day earlier this year when Mint Mobile, the prepaid wireless provider he partially owned, was bought by T-Mobile US Inc. for nearly $2 billion (US$1.3 billion).
Reynolds and McElhenney took over Wrexham in 2020, funding the Welsh football club’s return to the English Football League as fifth-tier champions earlier this year.
The duo’s popular docuseries Welcome to Wrexham was a hit in America and their move into the world of F1 is another sign of the sport’s booming popularity in the United States.
The investor group of Otro Capital, RedBird Capital Partners and Maximum Effort Investments, have worked with NFL team the Dallas Cowboys and French football club Toulouse FC.
RedBird is an investor in Fenway Sports Group, owner of Premier League side Liverpool and the MLB’s Boston Red Sox.
According to Renault, the investment deal means Alpine is now valued at A$1.34 billion — making it the third richest F1 team behind Ferrari and Mercedes.
Alpine Racing has a factory in Enstone in central England and the team’s engines, or power units, are manufactured in Viry-Chatillon on the outskirts of Paris.
Alpine Racing won F1 world championships in 2005 and 2006 as Renault with Fernando Alonso behind the wheel.
Michael Scumacher also won a title in 1995 with the previous iteration of the team known as Benetton.
Australia’s Daniel Ricciardo drove for the team for two seasons in 2019 and 2020 when it was known as Renault.
Alpine finished fourth in the constructors’ championship last year and is currently fifth in the standings after eight races this season.
The team has an all-French driver pairing of Esteban Ocon and Pierre Gasly.
Ocon has driven for the team since 2020 and finished third at last month’s Monaco Grand Prix — the team’s only podium of the season so far.
“Formula 1 and Alpine are strategic assets for Renault Group,”
“Over the past two years, we have re-ignited Alpine, capitalising on its iconic A110 sports coupe, boosting it by entering Formula 1, where it aims to become a championship contender.
“This partnership will accelerate Alpine F1 development by diversifying revenue drivers and increasing brand value.”Said Renault Group CEO Luca de Meo.
“This association is an important step to enhance our performance at all levels,”
“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.”Alpine CEO Laurent Rossi said.