McLaren CEO says Apple takeover talks happened but didn't go anywhere

Ron Dennis’s ouster might have something to do with a takeover bid, too.

Back in September, we reported that Apple was in talks to buy McLaren, as per a report in the Financial Times. A McLaren spokesperson flatly denied the rumor at the time, but it turns out that perhaps the truth of the matter is a little more complex than that denial encompassed. In an interview with Reuters, McLaren's acting CEO Mike Flewitt confirmed that there were talks with Apple, but that they never reached the stage where Apple made a bid.

"There wasn't a bid from Apple," Flewitt told Reuters. "They visited. We talked. We talked about what they did. We talked about what we did. They toured. It never matured to a definitive proposition."

Even if Apple had made a bid, it seems like the people who run McLaren might not have been in the mood to take it. As you might remember, long-time CEO Ron Dennis was ousted recently from his position after a 35-year run. A BBC report made it sound like the dismissal had to do with management style, but Sky News reports that it was Dennis's backing of a Chinese takeover bid that precipitated his departure. Apparently the stockholders weren't keen on selling, whether to a Chinese consortium or anybody else, and so Dennis got the boot.

It's not as if Dennis will be completely uninvolved from this point forward. The man still has a 25 percent stake in the company, and will remain on the board of directors of both the McLaren Technology Group as well as McLaren automotive itself.

In other news, Zak Brown, a former racing driver and sports marketing executive, has decided to take Dennis's vacated position, reports Sky News.

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