Apple, the California-based consumer electronics company that brought us all the various i-things that have become so ubiquitous since the first iMac in 1998, is reportedly interested acquiring McLaren Technology Group for over $1 billion US. If true, the acquisition would be the biggest acquisition for Apple since the $3 billion purchase of Beats Electronics from Dr. Dre and Jimmy Iovine.
According to the Financial Times, Apple has approached McLaren Technology Group about "a potential acquisition." The report cites three sources who were "briefed on the negotiations" that initiated "several months ago." This would suggest that the process is further along than a preliminary approach or inquiry about an acquisition.
Though McLaren is more commonly known as the manufacturer of supercars like the P1, and the 570GT that was announced earlier this year, the company's portfolio includes on-board computer systems technologies and chassis materials manufacturing. While it is unlikely you will be able to line up outside the Apple store for an i-branded supercar anytime soon, McLaren's auxiliary expertise in material manufacturing and computer systems could be a significant addition to Apple's Project Titan; the codename reportedly given to the tech giant's automotive development division.
The purchase of McLaren would allow Apple to re-accelerate it's stalled automotive ambitions after the New York Times reported Apple "laid off dozens of employees" earlier this month. The New York Times is also reporting that in addition to its interest in McLaren, Apple is "in talks" with Lit Motors a San Fransisco-based start-up that is working on self-balancing motorcycles.
In the tradition of Apple, it has remained silent on the matter, neither confirming nor denying the negotiations with either company. McLaren on the other hand, has already denied any discussions with Apple.
"We can confirm McLaren is not in discussion with Apple in regards to any investment," said Adam Gron, McLaren spokesman. Despite the emphatic denial by McLaren, Financial Times writer, Tim Bradshaw, defended his story on Twitter saying "Obviously we stand by our story despite McLaren's statement." According to Bradshaw, his sources "cautioned that it was unclear if a deal would go ahead following a recent shift in Apple’s car strategy."
Whether or not Apple intends to purchase McLaren and tap into its rich history in high-performance automotive technology the recent reports by both the Financial Times and New York Times suggest that Project Titan may not be close to maturity or any sort of actual product offering and are now looking to outside help to get the wheels turning once again towards their vision for the future of automobiles.