Report: Ron Dennis to sell McLaren stake, exit company

Ron Dennis

Ron Dennis

Six months after his ouster as CEO at McLaren Technology Group due to a spat with fellow shareholders, Ron Dennis could be set to finally leave the company he helped craft over the past four decades.

Sky News reports that Dennis has agreed to sell his 25 percent stake for $358 million. An announcement is expected to come Friday.

McLaren Technology Group is the parent company of numerous businesses, including the McLaren Formula One team and McLaren Automotive road car business.

Saudi businessman Mansour Ojjeh owns another 25 percent through his TAG Group holding company, while the remaining 50 percent is owned by the Bahraini government.

The falling out between Dennis and the other shareholders is thought to be centered on disagreement on the future strategy for McLaren. Dennis wanted to further expand the company by seeking new investors, potentially including Chinese interests. It may explain last September’s report of Apple being in talks to buy the company in a deal worth $1.94 billion.

Dennis was placed on gardening leave last November. The period lasted until his contact for the CEO position expired at the end of 2016. American marketing guru Zak Brown was hired to run the company following Dennis’ ouster.

“[The other shareholders] have forced through this decision to place me on gardening leave, despite the strong warnings from the rest of the management team about the potential consequences of their actions on the business,” Dennis said at the time. “Ultimately it has become clear to me through this process that neither TAG [Ojjeh ] nor Mumtalakat [Bahraini government] share my vision for McLaren and its true growth potential.”

Read also:
Australia plans "virtual" power plant of distributed solar panels, Tesla batteries

It was in 1980 that Dennis joined the McLaren F1 team, which was struggling at the time. Dennis and his business partners ended up buying the team the following year and over the coming decades would turn it into a billion-dollar venture. During his tenure, McLaren has enjoyed seven of its eight Constructors’ titles and 10 of its 12 Drivers’ titles, the most recent earned by Lewis Hamilton in 2008. The team been struggling in recent years and since teaming up with Honda in 2015 has been a backmarker.

Since Dennis’ ouster, we’ve seen two other senior staff leave. They include Jost Capito, who was CEO of the F1 team, and Frank Stephenson, who was design boss for the road car business.

Stay tuned for an update.

Check Also

Brabham Automotive launched by Jack Brabham’s son

One of the most storied names in motorsport, Brabham, is making its return, though in just what capacity is yet to be revealed. The original Brabham race team was co-founded in 1960 by Australian racing legend Sir Jack Brabham, who passed away in 2014 at the age of 88. During its heyday, the team won four Formula 1 Drivers' Championships and two...

$2.8B Toyota R&D center will include test track that mimics Nürburgring

Toyota plans for an expansive research and development center settled in Aichi, Japan, and included in the sprawling site will be 11 separate test tracks. And one of the tracks will mimic the famed Nürburgring, Nikkei Asian Review reported on Tuesday. The 1,600-acre site's 11 tracks will reproduce various driving conditions to ensure future vehicles...