Apple in possible talks on McLaren supercars deal
Tech giant Apple has approached McLaren Technology Group about a possible take-over of the company, the Financial Times reports.
Discussions with the maker of high performance luxury cars and owners of a Formula 1 team is the clearest sign yet the company which created the iPhone is now looking to dip their toes into the automotive industry.
Rumours have been swirling about Apple's interest in creating a self-driving electric car. Previous expectations were that the car would sit in competition with the likes of Tesla however the possible investment in McLaren could signal a much bolder project.
Negotiations into a full takeover or a strategic investment started several months ago according to three people who were briefed on the situation.
It is understood Apple has had some difficulty recruiting the necessary talent to be at the forefront of self-driving capabilities.
That's where McLaren comes in.
Because their expertise ranges from the luxury sports cars themselves to the software that runs them, a deal with McLaren would be a huge step-forward for Apple.
Those close to the discussions say it's the prowess of not just the technology but also their number of patents that the Californian-based company finds so attractive.
Apple has declined to comment on the issue however after the publication of the Financial Times report, McLaren issued a statement saying "McLaren is not in discussion with Apple about any potential investment" but did not say whether it had been approached.
McLaren is estimated to be worth between £1billion and £1.5b (NZ$1.8b-$2.66b) although it reported losses in 2014.
That would make it Apple's biggest acquisition since the $3bn purchase of Beats Electronics.