Ron Dennis, the man who led the McLaren team that created the iconic F1 road car, established today’s standard-setting road car division and scooped numerous Formula 1 world titles, setting the standards by which teams in the sport today operate, is selling all of his shares in the firm for an undisclosed sum.
The move ends a 37-year association between the two sides, which began when the team was struggling for success in F1 in 1980. Today, the McLaren Group is valued at £2.4 billion.
The split will be formalised by Dennis transferring his remaining 25% stake in McLaren Technology Group and 11% shareholding of McLaren Automotive. He is reported to have received £275 million for the shares and, as such, he will have no role at McLaren in future. The deal is expected to complete in "the next days or months".
The news also means the formation of the McLaren Group - the new holding company of McLaren Technology Group and McLaren Automotive. Sheikh Mohammed bin Essa Al Khalifa will become McLaren Group's executive chairman, while The Bahrain Mumtalakat Holding Company and TAG Group will remain as majority shareholders. Mike Flewitt continues in his role as boss of McLaren Automotive and Jonathan Neale and Zak Brown also stay in their roles leading McLaren Technology Group.
The company said it had secured finance in order to acquire Dennis's shareholdings as well as"stimulate growth in its wider businesses and consolidate its financial arrangements". A McLaren spokesman said the new investment would be used for its technology arm.
Dennis, who turned 70 this month, was awarded a CBE in 2000. He rose to prominence when he was placed in charge of the then struggling McLaren team in 1980, and soon led it back to race victories and world championships. Drivers who won world titles while he was at the helm of McLaren were Niki Lauda, Alain Prost, Ayrton Senna, Mika Häkkinen and Lewis Hamilton.