German media claims both BMW and Audi are interested in McLaren, yet BMW has since denied the story
Audi could be lining up a takeover bid for both the automotive and racing divisions of McLaren, reports from German media suggest.
German industry publication Automobilwoche first reported on Sunday that both Audi and BMW were interested in buying the British brand. The latter has since denied the report entirely, while Audi told Reuters that it is open to cooperation opportunities without commenting specifically on McLaren.
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The report initially suggested that BMW is only interested in McLaren’s road car division, McLaren Automotive, with the intention of expanding its portfolio of British-based brands beyond MINI and Rolls-Royce. Audi, on the other hand, was originally said to be mainly interested in McLaren’s Formula 1 operations, although rumours suggest it’s now looking to acquire the entire group.
Auto Express has approached both BMW and Audi and is awaiting comment on the reports.
The news comes after a turbulent period for Woking-based McLaren, which saw its CEO Mike Flewitt step down last month after eight years in charge.
The company has also struggled to weather the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic. Heavy financial pressure saw McLaren raise £550million in July from investors including Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund. Following this raising of capital, it raised a similar figure via a bond issue, while in April it sold its Woking factory to an American investment group as part of a deal that saw the British firm lease its premises back.
If Audi went ahead with the purchase of McLaren it would be the second supercar brand under its control after Lamborghini. It also gives the wider VW Group direct access into Formula 1, something which it has been considering for some time.
Porsche, another high-end VW brand with strong motorsport history, has also been considering an F1 entry, although it is believed this would be as a powertrain partner for an existing team rather than as a standalone brand.
Auto Express will update this story as it develops…
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