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Apple in talks about possible takeover of the McLaren Technology Group

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Apple in talks about possible takeover of the McLaren Technology Group
Sep 21, 2016, 4:35 PM

Technology giant Apple has reportedly approached the McLaren Technology Group regarding a potential takeover or strategic investment.

Technology giant Apple has reportedly approached the McLaren Technology Group regarding a potential takeover or strategic investment.

According to a report in the Financial Times, Apple has been negotiating with the company, which owns the Formula 1 team, for several months.

Apple is known to have been working on an autonomous electric vehicle since 2014 and is reportedly interested in McLaren’s road car engineering prowess – the company launch its McLaren Automotive division in 2010 and produced 1,654 cars last year, with revenues of £450m.

McLaren factory 1

“A tie-up with McLaren, whose expertise ranges from automotive engineering and on-board computer systems to novel chassis materials such as carbon fibre and aluminium, could accelerate Apple’s secretive automotive project,” reads the FT story. “Apple and McLaren declined to comment.”

If a deal was reached, and it is unclear at this stage if it will indeed happen, it would represent one of the largest investments Apple has made in recent years.

The FT report states that the McLaren Technology Group has a likely value of £1-1.5bn and is owned by Ron Dennis, Mansour Ojjeh, and Mumtalakat, the Bahrain sovereign wealth fund.

“Apple’s interest in the Woking-based company centres on its technology, engineering prowess and patent portfolio, according to people briefed on the talks,” continues the FT story. “However, those people cautioned that it was unclear if a deal would go ahead following a recent shift in Apple’s car strategy.”

Apple

Apple’s electric car project, which has been shrouded in secrecy, is reported to have stalled in recent months and it is thought that the company is possibly now working on the systems to run an autonomous car built by another company instead of producing the vehicle itself.

McLaren Automotive launched the 12C road car in 2011 and the P1 hybrid sports car in 2013. The company employs over 1,000 people and appointed Jonathan Neale, the former acting CEO of McLaren Racing, to be its COO earlier this year.

The McLaren F1 team is currently sixth in the 2016 constructors’ championship and has scored 54 points from the opening 15 races of the season.

Jenson Button

The team has not won a race since the 2012 Brazilian Grand Prix, which came courtesy of Jenson Button, who will take a sabbatical from F1 next season. The 2015 season was the team’s worst since 1980 as it finished ninth in the constructors’ standings with just 27 points.

What do you make of the news that Apple is in talks with McLaren about a possible takeover? Leave your thoughts in the comment section below or head over to the JAonF1 Facebook page for more discussion.
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