McLaren denies talks with Apple

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McLaren has denied rumors that technology giant Apple is in talks with the British manufacturer over a 'strategic investment' or full takeover.

The news, fueled by a Financial Times article, certainly popped a few eyeballs across the world with many speculating exactly why Apple would be interested in the luxury carmaker McLaren.

But the claims were quickly put to rest by a McLaren representative a few hours after they emerged.

"I can confirm that McLaren is not in discussion with Apple about any potential investment," said Michael Flewitt, chief executive officer of the automotive unit.

The McLaren Technology Group which includes three different entities - the Formula 1 team, McLaren Automotive and McLaren Applied Technologies - is closely held with more than 55 percent owned by Bahrain Mumtalakat Holding Co., the investment arm of the kingdom of Bahrain.

The next two biggest shareholders are TAG Group Ltd., a Luxembourg-based holding company, with 11 percent, and McLaren Chairman Ron Dennis, with 10 percent.

However surprising some may consider the rumor, upon further analysis one could find a reason for an Apple involvement to actually make sense given the Cupertino giant's long-term ambition of disrupting the transportation industry with a car of its own.

While the tech company has been focusing more on self-driving software in recent months, a tie up with an established carmaker may still be in the works should a cost-effective opportunity arise.

With sports cars starting at around £150,000, McLaren would bring brand strength, advanced engineering and a portfolio of patents to the equation.

It's more likely however that Apple would be interested in McLaren Applied Technologies, the engineering and software arm of the group, rather than the automotive production and manufacturing company.

On the other hand, it would appear strange for McLaren to divest from a company linked so closely to its engineering expertise.

In any case, the rumors have been denied... for now.

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