Audi has reportedly raised its offer to buy a stake in McLaren’s Formula 1 unit from $495 million to $718 million, according to a report by Germany’s Automobilwoche.
McLaren and Audi are expected to sign a letter of intent, while a supervisory board will meet to discuss details of the deal later this month.
Audi’s parent company Volkswagen AG expressed interest in acquiring McLaren last year as a way to tap into the booming Formula 1 business. Formula 1 reported $787 million in revenue in Q4 2021, a 62% increase year-over-year, with viewership reaching 1.55 billion last season.
McLaren later called off a potential deal, deeming Volkswagen’s initial offer as too low.
- Volkswagen could separately acquire a stake in McLaren’s road car division, McLaren Automotive.
- Porsche, one of Volkswagen’s 12 car companies and brands, is pursuing a partnership with Formula 1 team Red Bull Racing.
Volkswagen’s interest comes on the heels of a joint development project between McLaren and German carmaker BMW. McLaren and BMW signed a memorandum of understanding on March 24 that will see the two brands develop an architecture for electric sports cars.
The agreement isn’t binding and could be voided with a deal between McLaren and Audi.
Pick and Choose
Volkswagen made a major subtraction from its portfolio last July. The company announced plans to offload its high-end Bugatti brand to Porsche and electric carmaker Rimac.
Porsche will own 45% of the company, while Rimac will own 55%.