A new iMac? Apple reported to be in financial discussions with McLaren

Published: 21 September 2016

 Apple in discussions with McLaren
 Considering investment or takeover
 Acquisition could aid ‘Titan’ project

A report by the Financial Times states that Apple is considering investing in, or buying outright, the McLaren Technology Group. 

Having a stake in the Group, or taking complete control of it, would give Apple access to its subsidiaries – including McLaren Racing and McLaren Automotive.

What’s the latest news?

McLaren has since denied that that any talks have taken place, after initially declining to comment. In a recent report by Reuters, McLaren states that it is not in any investment talks with Apple – the mooted complete takeover is not mentioned – but the company does say that it regularly has confidential conversations with other parties. 

Apple, on the other hand, has remained mute regarding any potential deal or takeover.

Why would Apple be interested in McLaren?

The FT’s report, which cites three insiders involved in the discussions as its source, says that McLaren’s automotive expertise could be used to accelerate Apple’s secretive car project. 

McLaren’s more recent focus on hybrid assistance and electric power could be of considerable interest to Apple, the automotive focus of which initially appeared to be solely on producing a zero-emissions car. 

How much would the deal cost Apple?

It’s claimed that McLaren would likely set back Apple from £1 billion to £1.5 billion. A steal, compared to the £2 billion that Apple paid for Beats Audio in 2014.

So, is the ‘iMac’ deal done?

No – and nor is it clear if it will be completed. Apple’s rumoured electric car project, dubbed ‘Titan’, has recently been shedding staff. Rumours suggest that the company is instead focusing on automotive-related technology, including autonomous driving, instead of attempting to make its own vehicle. 

However, McLaren is well positioned to design, develop and produce vehicles on its own – potentially giving Apple the leg up that it needs to get its Tesla-rivalling project rolling in earnest. The McLaren Group also has considerable knowledge regarding composites, manufacturing, material usage, data analysis and electronics, all of which could be of direct use to Apple.

Additionally, the talks have reputedly been going on for months – suggesting the companies are engaged in more than just a light-hearted chat...

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By Lewis Kingston

Formerly of this parish. Inveterate car buyer and seller; currently owner of a '68 Charger project car