No comment. That's what the Mercedes-Benz communications office had to say in response to rumors that the company is preparing to take over McLaren, the racing team and engineering firm of which Daimler already owns 40%. The report comes from Auto Motor und Sport and suggests not only that Mercedes is considering a buy-out of McLaren, but that the deal has essentially already been hammered out.
The remaining 60% is shared by team principal Ron Dennis and his Saudi business partner Mansour Ojjeh (at 15% each) and Bahraini holding company Mumtalakat, to which Dennis and Ojjeh sold 30% last year. Daimler therefore has the largest interest in McLaren, but if it wanted to take complete control it would have to negotiate with the three other shareholders, or else take controlling interest of 55 or 70% by buying out either Dennis, Ojjeh or the Bahraini partners.
McLaren currently produces the SLR supercar for Mercedes. Although Mercedes is reportedly turning to AMG spin-off HWA for its next supercar, McLaren is meanwhile proceeding with its own P11. Of course, McLaren also fields Mercedes-powered Formula One cars. If Daimler did buy out McLaren, as has long been rumored, it would effectively become the Mercedes factory works team, much like Honda bought BAR and BMW took over Sauber.
[Source: Auto Motor und Sport via Autosport]