Apple In Talks to Seek Strategic Stake In Luxury Carmaker McLaren?
McLaren Technology Group, a British luxury-car maker has apparently been approached by Apple who is considering buying out the company or strategically investing in it, according to a new report from Fortune’s Matthew Garrahan and Tim Bradshaw on Wednesday. The news comes after reports that Apple has hit the brakes on developing a car in-house.
Apple “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,” the FT report said. The automotive engineering firm is valued at $1.3 billion to $2 billion, the FT said.
Depending on how much of a chunk the iPhone maker acquires, a strategic investment in McLaren would likely cost Apple less.
However, McLaren denied that a takeover or investment was currently in the works.
“There’s no takeover, no strategic investment,” A McLaren spokesperson told Business Insider. “It’s completely untrue.”
McLaren is a low-volume producer of luxury sports cars that can cost as much as $1 million and owns an advanced technologies group, as well as the eponymous Formula One racing team.
The rumour becomes more interesting due to the drama surrounding Apple’s interest in cars. Apple has been said to be not-so-secretly developing a car for the last few years, a project rumoured to be dubbed as “Project Titan.” The company was in news when it was hiring prominent automobile engineers, picking up employees from Tesla, and building a design team charged with making an all-electric vehicle, as explained in many reports. However, on September 9, the New York Times reported that Apple had scrapped plans to build its own car and instead is focusing on software for future cars.
Self-driving-car projects have been aggressively pursued by some companies, including Tesla Motors (TSLA), Google parent Alphabet (GOOGL), ride-hailing service Uber and major automakers such as Ford (F) and General Motors (GM).
Apple had invested $1 billion in Didi Chuxing, a Chinese ride-hailing company in May.