DECEMBER 14, 2006
The sale of McLaren
Ron Dennis had a meeting with some of the British F1 media last week and discussed a little about whether or not the team will be sold to Mercedes-Benz. For some time there have been rumours that a deal was done last summer and our sources are absolutely certain that a sale is taking place and that it will be announced when various accounting deadlines have been passed so that the purchase will not raise any eyebrows in the investing world.
At the moment Ron Dennis and Mansour Ojjeh hold 30% of the team each, although this is pooled with an agreement that one will not sell without the agreement of the other. Mercedes-Benz owns the other 40% and is understood to be keen to get the outstanding shares so that it can do exactly what it wants without having to consider other shareholders. The rapid rise of BMW Sauber as a serious force in F1, coupled with a disappointing year for McLaren, is obviously part of the equation.
"If an opportunity presents itself and can make McLaren better, it is supported by its management and I embrace it," Dennis said although he added that he would not necessarily agree to simply depart.
"We have some really exciting programmes outside our Formula 1 team," he said, "and we want the company to grow."
Dennis is believed to be referring to a new road car programme with Mercedes, which is expected to see the McLaren production rising dramatically as Mercedes uses the brand more .
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