Bahrain-backed McLaren denies report of investment talks with Apple

Financial Times reported that Apple had made an approach for a strategic investment or a potential buyout
Bahrain-backed McLaren denies report of investment talks with Apple
McLaren Hondas British driver Jenson Button drives during the first practice session at the Autodromo Nazionale circuit in Monza on September 2, 2016 ahead of the Italian Formula One Grand Prix. (Giuseppe Cacace/AFP/Getty Images)
By Reuters
Thu 22 Sep 2016 09:22 AM

McLaren damped down a report on Wednesday that Apple had made an approach for the British Formula One team owner and supercar maker.

"We can confirm that McLaren is not in discussion with Apple in respect of any potential investment," a McLaren spokesman said.

"As you would expect, the nature of our brand means we regularly have confidential conversations with a wide range of parties, but we keep them confidential."

The Financial Times newspaper, citing three sources it said had been briefed on negotiations, had reported that Apple had made an approach for a strategic investment or a potential buyout.

It reported that the automotive group could be valued at between 1 billion pounds ($1.3 billion) and 1.5 billion pounds.

Reports have suggested that Apple, which had no immediate response to the Financial Times story, is working on a self-driving car. The iPhone maker has hired dozens of automotive experts over the past year and is exploring making charging stations for electric cars. Apple also invested $1 billion in Chinese ride-hailing service Didi Chuxing earlier this year.

The McLaren Formula One team is partnered by Honda, who provide the power units. The team is the second most successful after Ferrari in terms of race wins and titles but has not won a grand prix since 2012.

McLaren Technology is owned by Ron Dennis, its chairman, Mansour Ojjeh, and Mumtalakat, Bahrain's sovereign wealth fund.

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