Apple in takeover talks with carmaker McLaren

Tech giant is considering full takoever of sports car firm as it works towards a self-driving car

Apple are in talks with sports car maker McLaren about a potential takeover

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.

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.

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. Apple and McLaren declined to comment.

The lossmaking automotive group was likely to be valued at between £1 billion and £1.5 billion, the people said, adding that it was not clear that a deal would be done.


That would make it Apple's biggest acquisition since the $3bn purchase of Beats Electronics, the audio group founded by Dr Dre and Jimmy Iovine, in 2014.

Earlier this year, Apple invested $1 billion in Didi Chuxing, the Chinese ride-hailing company. That deal was Apple's largest equity investment to date, as chief executive Tim Cook gradually breaks with the Silicon Valley company's longstanding aversion to large deals.

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.

- (Copyright The Financial Times Limited 2016)