These are busy times for McLaren’s Ron Dennis. If rumours are to be believed, Dennis is busy raising money to buy 26 percent of McLaren Group Ltd. This is currently 50 percent owned by Bahrain Mumtalakat Holding, the investment arm of the Kingdom of Bahrain, with 25 percent belonging to the Ojjeh Family’s TAG Group and the remaining shares being owned by Dennis. He took over management control in January on the basis that he would then raise the money to buy control of the whole group. There have been reports that Dennis will buy 25 percent of the Mumtalakat shares and 12.5 percent of the TAG shares. if true, this would give him 62.5 percent of the company. The problem is that the McLaren Group is worth a great deal of money and the word is that Dennis is working to a deadline.
Again the numbers are not certain but the company is worth at least $800 million, which would mean that Dennis needs to find at least $300 million to complete such a deal. The long-term goal remains to IPO the company in the longer term, Dennis saying in 2011 that this would be in the pipeline for around 2016 and that may help to attract investors.
The team still has to decide who will join Fernando Alonso (although the Spaniard has still not yet been officially confirmed) but the choice seems to be between Jenson Button, Kevin Magnussen and Stoffel Vandoorne. There has been talk of Telefónica coming in to sponsor the team with its Movistar brand and in recent days Ron Dennis was spotted in Denmark. He is believed to have been in talks with Anders Holch Povlsen, the owner of the fashion retail business Bestseller, who is reckoned to be worth around $4.8 billion from apparel and accessories sold under 11 different brand names. Holch Povlsen has been a supporter of Kevin Magnussen for several years with his Jack & Jones brand and is already a McLaren sponsor with the asos.com brand. He is also big on environmental causes and owns more than 130,000 acres in Scotland, on which he is planting trees.
Denmark is a country with a number of huge companies, notably the transportation conglomerate A.P. Moller–Maersk Group, the pharmaceutical firm Novo Nordisk, which uses motor racing to highlight its diabetes treatments in the US, Danske Bank and the Carlsberg brewing company. There are also high worth individuals such as Kjeld Kirk Kristiansen, who is reckoned to be worth $10.6 billion as a result of his Lego empire. Kristiansen was spotted in the F1 paddock in Monza this year and Lego currently has a promotion ongoing with Ferrari and Shell. Dennis has already said that he would like to see Danish companies support the efforts of Magnussen. The remarks were echoed by Lars Seier Christensen, the CEO of investment bank Saxo.
It is worth noting also that there are stories in the Danish newspaper Herning Folkeblad suggesting that a working group is due to meet with F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone to discuss a potential Danish Grand Prix for 2018. The group is being represented by politician Helge Sander, who served as the Minister for Science until February 2010. It is reported that a meeting is scheduled for January. Sander has confirmed the bid.