Technology giant Apple is in talks with McLaren Technology Group over a possible takeover, according to a report from the Financial Times.
Apple has been angling to make a move into the automotive sphere for some time, and was linked with acquiring Formula 1 before Liberty Media takeover plans were confirmed earlier this month.
However, Apple may yet still become involved in F1 via McLaren, the company being made up of its racing team, its supercar production arm McLaren Automotive, and McLaren Applied Technologies.
The British team currently sits sixth in the F1 constructors’ championship as its rebuilding process continues following a split with previous engine supplier Mercedes at the end of 2014.
The report from the Financial Times claims that talks between Apple and McLaren have been ongoing for many months, with the American technology company privately developing its own self-driving electric vehicle.
Should the deal go ahead, the report estimates McLaren would be valued between $1.2 billion and $1.9 billion, making it Apple’s biggest acquisition since its purchase of Beats for $3 billion in 2014.
NBC Sports understands that Apple’s push to become involved in F1 did go beyond preliminary talks, with the company conducting due diligence earlier this year ahead of a possible deal.
UPDATE 13:02 ET – McLAREN DENIES APPLE TALKS
When contacted for comment by NBC Sports, a McLaren spokesman said: “We can confirm that McLaren is not in discussion with Apple in respect of any potential investment.
“As you would expect, the nature of our brand means we regularly have confidential conversations with a wide range of parties, but we keep them confidential.”