Apple May Be Seeking To Buy McLaren, According To FT.
But McLaren Denies, Apple Silent On Deal.
Cash-rich California technology company Apple wants to buy McLaren Technology Group, the British sports car engineer and owner of a Grand Prix team, according to the Financial Times, which said this is the “clearest sign yet” of an outside company seeking to elbow its way into the automotive business.
The trouble is McLaren denied any talks were taking place, and Apple declined comment.
And the scale of McLaren’s operations suggested it wouldn’t be helpful if Apple had really big automotive ambitions.
The story confused Evercore ISI, which said the FT didn’t clearly differentiate between McLaren Automotive Ltd and McLaren Automotive Technology Group Ltd.
“The former builds road cars and the latter is a racing car constructor which participates in F1. It provides 3rd party technical services, as well as applied technologies,” Evercore ISI analyst Arndt Ellinghorst said.
“It could be that Apple is interested in McLaren Technology Group’s experience in predictive data analytics, simulation, advanced manufacturing and electronic componentry,” he said.
“Essentially, Apple would appear to be investing in R&D – an investment that would likely help Apple in its understanding of the vehicle and automotive systems/components but one that would also suggest to us that Apple is still several years away from putting a vehicle into mass production,” Ellinghorst said.
Reuter’s Breaking Views said Apple has a history of buying smaller companies to build up expertise, rather than big block-buster acquisitions. Despite that, according to Breaking Views columnist Robert Cyran, Apple, because of its huge cash hoard of more than $230 billion has been sounding out the possibilities of buying several big companies lately, including Tesla Motors, entertainment giant Time Warner, camera maker GoPro and software producer Adobe.
Cyran thinks the reported McLaren deal was a result of imagination running riot because of Apple’s massive war-chest.
“While McLaren Technology is a high-tech supercar and Formula One business, it’s still hard to see it taking Apple’s vehicular ambitions far. Fancy can run free when a company has so much cash. A McLaren deal is probably already no more than a dot disappearing over the horizon,” Cyran said.