Ryan Reynolds, Rob McElhenney, and Michael B Jordan make investment into the Alpine F1 team
Actors Ryan Reynolds, Rob McElhenney, and Michael B Jordan are part of an investor group taking a 24% equity stake in Enstone-based entity Alpine Racing Ltd.
The EUR€200 million deal comes from an investment group comprised of Otro Capital, RedBird Capital Partners, and the Ryan Reynolds-led Maximum Effort Investments.
Having acquired Wrexham Football Club in November 2020, Ryan Reynolds and Rob McElhenney have already been making waves in the world of sport. The docuseries Welcome to Wrexham followed the pair’s journey to reviving the third-oldest professional association football team in the world. Fresh from topping the National League (Wrexham's first league title in 45 years), the two stars have set their sights on Formula 1.
It is expected that this €200 million investment will accelerate Alpine’s growth and improve their Formula 1 potential and performance. The team will benefit from the Investor Group’s collective expertise and track record in the sports industry, including boosts to media, sponsorship, ticketing, hospitality, commercial rights management, licensing, and merchandising strategies.
The team is now estimated to be worth around USD$900 million. With Alpine having placed fourth in the 2022 Constructors’ Championship and currently running in fifth for 2023, it can be expected that the frontrunners are valued within the range of $1.25-1.5 billion.
To put this into context, when the Williams Racing team was sold in 2020, it was acquired in its entirety for €152 million. Less than three years later, 24% of Alpine has been sold for €200 million, raising the question of how valuable Formula 1 has become as a business in the last few years alone.
When Liberty Media acquired the Formula One Group in January 2017, it had a valuation of $8 billion (£6.4 billion). Six and a half years later, it is worth roughly three and a half times that amount; its market cap is USD$29.26 billion, and its value as a business is even higher than that.
There are a number of reasons for this rapid rise in value, including many of Liberty Media’s changes to the sport. The increased number of races in the World Championship, the introduction of a more equitably shared prize fund for teams, and the budget cap (meaning that costs are down and revenue is up) are some of these reasons. In a further boost, Liberty Media collaborated with Netflix to create Drive to Survive in a strategic move to expand the fanbase, thus turbocharging Formula 1, welcoming a new generation of viewers, and creating an influx of American sponsorship interest.
Since then, Formula 1’s popularity has skyrocketed, inspiring increased global growth and engagement, particularly within the United States. This U.S. growth has continued with the 2022 addition of the Miami Grand Prix and the introduction of the Las Vegas Grand Prix to the 2023 calendar. The €200 million Hollywood investment in Alpine is the latest development and will no doubt be a catalyst towards further expansion within both Alpine and the wider Formula 1 world.