Apple, the tech company, is negotiating with McLaren, the car manufacturer, according to the Financial Times. Yes, you’ve read that correctly. These negotiations have been ongoing for months and could lead to an acquisition, or at least a strategic investment.
More precisely, Apple is talking with McLaren Technology Group, the parent company of all things McLaren, including McLaren Automotive.
While McLaren is a famous name in the world of supercars and Formula One, it isn’t a gigantic car manufacturing company. The company reported $617 million in revenue (£475 million) for the entire year of 2015, representing $27 million in net profit (£20.8 million).
The FT thinks 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.
In particular, when it comes to automotive, rumor has it that Apple has been working on a secret car project for years.
While Apple engineers are hard at work on self-driving technology, manufacturing a car is still uncharted territory for the tech company. Acquiring McLaren could be a way to hire many engineers who know how to make cars, engines, chassis and more.
This is still an early report and the acquisition talks could still fall through. Either way, it’s interesting to see that Apple wants to be a serious player in the car space.
Update: McLaren told the BBC that the company isn’t having any investment discussion with Apple right now.
Independently, the NYT confirmed that Apple and McLaren have been talking about a potential investment. McLaren’s statement could mean that it’s an acquisition (not an investment), it has closed (not in discussion) or the discussion has ended.