Apple approached British supercar-maker McLaren to discuss an acquisition or a strategic investment in the firm, reports the Financial Times. The talks are said to have been in progress for several months. The New York Times separately reported that talks were underway as well. Bloomberg reported that Apple is more interested in a large investment than an outright acquisition.
McLaren is best known for its Formula One racing team and, a few months ago, rumors surfaced that Apple was considering an acquisition of the Formula One racing league itself. McLaren also has a fast-growing road cars division that started less than a decade ago but has received great praise for its million-dollar P1 hybrid hypercar and its range of supercars. McLaren also has a large consulting division and a technologies group that acts as a parts supplier to other carmakers and race teams.
In July, Apple reportedly brought longtime hardware executive Bob Mansfield back to run its car project, but a more recent report said the division was undergoing job cuts as Mansfield looked to refine its focus. Rumors have circled for years that Apple was working on both an electric car and autonomous software.
The report said McLaren would be valued between $1.3 and $2 billion, but it’s "not clear" that the deal will get done, according to the FT. Apple declined to comment, while McLaren said in a statement to The Verge that the company "is not in discussion with Apple in respect of any potential investment."
Update September 21st, 11:25AM ET: Updated with Apple no comment.
Update September 21st, 12:40PM ET: Updated with McLaren comment.
Update September 21st, 1:04PM ET: Updated with link to New York Times story.
Update September 21st, 2:21PM ET: Updated with link to Bloomberg story.