Bahrain agrees McLaren share sale to Dennis (Update)

UPDATE

Dennis and Ojjeh

(GMM) McLaren has denied Bernie Ecclestone's claim that Ron Dennis has bought back majority ownership of the Woking based team.

The F1 supremo told business journalist Christian Sylt earlier this week that Bahrain's investment vehicle Mumtalakat has "sold the shares to Ron".

"He has got to pay for them by a certain date," Ecclestone was quoted by Forbes. "If he doesn't pay he will obviously take them back but at the moment Ron would own the company."

Ecclestone hinted the same was also true of Dennis' long-time business partner Mansour Ojjeh, but he said McLaren was in good hands as it enters the Honda era.

A McLaren spokesman, however, told us that Ecclestone's comments were "inaccurate".

"No transaction has taken place," he said, "but the shareholders have had discussions on how to best facilitate and enhance the future growth of the McLaren Group.

"When and if a transaction takes place, it is not envisioned that the current shareholders will exit McLaren completely, and announcements would be made at the appropriate time."

In other McLaren news, the team spokesman also told us that the Honda-powered 2015 chassis, the MP4-30, has passed all of its mandatory FIA crash tests.

12/12/14 Bahrain's sovereign wealth fund Mumtalakat has agreed to sell some of its stake in McLaren to the Formula One team's overall head Ron Dennis, who is set to become the majority shareholder.

"No transaction has taken place, but the shareholders have had discussions on how to best facilitate and enhance the future growth of the McLaren Group," a McLaren spokesman said on Friday.

"When and if a transaction takes place, it is not envisioned that the current shareholders will exit McLaren completely, and announcements would be made at the appropriate time."

No details were given about the number of shares involved, with Mumtalakat currently holding a 50 percent stake. Dennis and Saudi-born businessman Mansour Ojjeh, the chief executive of Luxembourg-based TAG, each hold 25 percent.

The share purchase agreements were signed last August between Mumtalakat, TAG and Dennis.

An informed source emphasized that while the Bahrainis were willing to sell some shares, they had no intention of leaving McLaren entirely.

Formula One's commercial supremo Bernie Ecclestone had told reporters on Thursday that Dennis, the McLaren group chief executive and former team principal, was in the process of regaining control.

"They (the Bahrainis) are nothing to do with the race team any more. They have sold the shares to Ron," said the 84-year-old Briton.

"He’s got to pay for them by a certain date. If he doesn’t pay, they will obviously take everything back again. But at the moment, Ron would own the company." Reuters

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