Breaking! Financial Times reports that Cupertino-based Apple is in talks to acquire McLaren, the supercar company:
“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.”
McLaren, based in Surrey, England, manufactures high-performance sports cars, including the P1 and F1 models commonly used for racing. The carmaker produced only 1,654 vehicles last year, many costing as much as $1 million apiece.
“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.”
Of course, Apple and McLaren declined to comment on the news. Tim Cook has never publicly acknowledged Apple’s automotive project, but many of its top executives are fans of luxury cars. Cook drives a BMW 5-Series, Phil Schiller, Apple’s marketing head, owns a McLaren, while Eddy Cue, its services head, sits on the board of Ferrari, and designer chief Jonathan Ive is a Bentley and Aston Martin enthusiast.
The FT estimates this acquisition could cost between $1.3 billion and $2 billion (between £1 billion and £1.5 billion). While this seems like a significant acquisition for Apple, the company has made a bigger acquisition in the past with Beats.
Update! According to Jalopnik, officials at McLaren claim the FT news isn’t true:
“We can confirm that McLaren is not in discussion with Apple in respect of any potential investment,” McLaren’s terse, one-line official statement reads. A source we spoke to at McLaren said went further, saying there was zero truth to the rumor. “It’s not true at all. There’s no chatter, there’s no acquisition,” the source said.