“Apple has approached McLaren Technology Group, the British supercar engineer and Formula One team owner, about a potential acquisition, in the clearest sign yet that the iPhone maker is seeking to transform the automotive industry,” Matthew Garrahan and Tim Bradshaw report for The Financial Times.
“The California technology group, which has been working on a self-driving electric vehicle for more than two years, is considering a full takeover of McLaren or a strategic investment, according to three people briefed on the negotiations who said talks started several months ago,” Garrahan and Bradshaw report. “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.”
“The lossmaking automotive group was likely to be valued at between £1bn and £1.5bn, the people said, adding that it was not clear a deal would be done,” Garrahan and Bradshaw report. “McLaren produces luxury sports cars that can cost as much as $1m apiece and owns an advanced technologies group, as well as the eponymous Formula One racing team. The owners of McLaren Technology control 80 per cent of McLaren Automotive. It produced 1,654 vehicles last year, generating revenues of £450m, and has pledged to invest £1bn in the next six years on research and development. McLaren Technology reported revenues of £265m and pre-tax losses of £22.6m in 2014, its last published accounts. It is owned by Ron Dennis, its chairman, Mansour Ojjeh, and Mumtalakat, Bahrain’s sovereign wealth fund.”
Garrahan and Bradshaw report, “Apple’s interest in the Woking-based company centres on its technology, engineering prowess and patent portfolio, according to people briefed on the talks.”
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MacDailyNews Take: Titillating.