McLaren might have already tried to kill rumours of the downright fascinating prospect of a takeover by Apple with a statement denying the Financial Times story (spoilsports), but to me the old adage of no smoke without fire burns brightly here.
Why? For starters, the FT and its well-informed and connected team reports the kind of things in detail that someone only close to the matter would know. Take, for example, the line that negotiations have been ongoing for “months”, rather than a more generic reference to talks.
I could also pore over the semantics of McLaren’s statement – “we are not in discussion with Apple in respect of any potential investment” – and pick a few holes (discussion, not discussions; investment and not a takeover). But I will take it at face value and instead play devil’s advocate as to why the deal makes so much sense for Apple.
We think of McLaren as a race team and a road car maker, but the mooted deal is for the entire McLaren Technology Group, which includes not only the road and race teams but also the McLaren Applied Technologies arm, which applies F1-bred outside-the-box thinking to all kinds of other industries, from working out how to manage emergency departments and improve surgical procedures in healthcare to making Mark Cavendish’s Tour de France bike lighter and faster.