McLaren denies Dennis power struggle brewing after worst F1 season in decades
6 December, 2013
McLaren has denied reports that former team boss Ron Dennis is shaping up to take more control of the Woking based company, and particularly the Formula 1 team which endured one of the worst seasons in its illustrious history.
Amid the British team’s woefully bad 2013 season, there have been rumblings that Martin Whitmarsh’s place as Team Principal might not be secure.
The reports suggested that Dennis, McLaren’s long-time team boss and continuing non-executive chairman of the parent company, was shaping up to wrestle back control of the Formula 1 outfit.
This week, the business reporter for British broadcaster Sky, Mark Kleinman, reported that Dennis was considering upping his power by buying out fellow McLaren co-owner Mansour Ojjeh’s 25 per cent stake.
The owner of 25% of McLaren Group, Dennis is also thought to be interested in buying part of the remaining 50% stake, which is owned by the Bahrain-based sovereign wealth fund, Mumtalakat. In doing so this would give him overall control of the company.
Automotive industry experts predict that acquiring a 25% stake in McLaren Group would cost around €150 million.
“Mr Dennis is said to be distressed at the current performance of the team,” Kleinman wrote, adding that a power struggle with Whitmarsh might ensue.
He added that Dennis might be looking to China to help finance the deal.
The 66-year-old this week joined UK prime minister David Cameron on an official delegation to the world’s most populous country.
“No country is more important to my global vision for McLaren than China,” Dennis said in a statement.
A McLaren spokesperson, however, played down Kleinman’s claims, denying that Ojjeh, who recently had a double lung transplant, has “expressed any desire to sell” his stake.
“It’s business as usual,” the spokesperson is quoted by the Telegraph. (GMM)
Subbed by AJN.