An unnamed group of Chinese investors have reportedly tabled a 1.65 billion pound ($2.08 billion) bid to take over McLaren which has left team principal Ron Dennis’ future with the team in uncertainty, Sky News reported on Friday.
Dennis, chairman and CEO of the McLaren Group, owns 25% of the business, with another 25% owned by his business partner Mansour Ojjeh, with the remaining 50% owned by a Bahraini sovereign wealth fund.
The report, written by city editor Mark Kleinman — It said the offer, which Sky understood was presented to shareholders by Dennis last week, involved an asset manager and private equity funding. No details were given.
According to Sky sources, Dennis appeared in the high court on Thursday and Friday in an attempt to get an injunction against a move to place him on gardening leave until the end of his contract in mid-January.
Dennis, who has been involved with McLaren since 1980, stood down as Formula One team boss in 2009 but returned as group chief executive in January 2014.
McLaren changed their name in 2014 to McLaren Technology Group, incorporating the sportscar company and applied technologies as well as the F1 team.
Mumtalakat agreed that same year to sell some of their 50 percent stake to Dennis but that did not proceed as planned. Ojjeh and Dennis each own 25 percent.
Dennis’s position has been in doubt since Britain’s autosport.com website reported last month that he would be leaving as chairman and chief executive when his contract expired.
A McLaren spokesman said then that Dennis had stated “categorically” that he was not stepping down. Mahmood al-Kooheji, CEO of Mumtalakat told Reuters in Abu Dhabi last month that they had “great admiration” for Dennis.
“He’s a colleague, an inspirational chairman who is behind all the ideas,” he said then. “Whatever he decides, we will support his decision. I hope he continues and I will try to make him stay.”
Source and Credit – Reuters and Sky News