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Official: McLaren Group acquires Ron Dennis' shareholdings

NEWS STORY
30/06/2017

Ron Dennis, Chairman of McLaren Technology Group and McLaren Automotive, has agreed terms to sell his shareholdings in both companies.

The formation of the McLaren Group - the new holding company of McLaren Technology Group and McLaren Automotive - will underpin the continuing rapid growth of McLaren's businesses and brand.

The Bahrain Mumtalakat Holding Company and TAG Group will remain as majority McLaren Group shareholders, while Shaikh Mohammed bin Essa Al Khalifa will become McLaren Group's Executive Chairman.

On completion of the transaction, Ron Dennis will step down as Chairman of both companies, and will continue to pursue his career as a consultant and entrepreneur.

Dennis celebrated his 70th birthday on June 1st, after 37 years at the helm of McLaren, and 51 years spent working in Formula 1 and other top-level motorsport series. During his 37 years at McLaren, he led the team to 158 Grand Prix wins and 17 Formula 1 World Championships, managing some of the greatest drivers in the history of motorsport (including Niki Lauda, Alain Prost, Ayrton Senna, Mika Hakkinen and Lewis Hamilton, who all won World Championships under Ron's management) as well as the world-renowned Le Mans 24 Hours race in 1995.

In 2004 Dennis announced the launch of McLaren Applied Technologies, which focuses on applying motorsport-bred innovations and technologies so as to improve the performance and product innovation of blue-chip companies in a wide variety of industries.

In 2010 he oversaw the formation of McLaren Automotive, now one of the world's leading manufacturers of high-performance sports cars.

On December 18th 1980, Dennis merged Team McLaren (as it was then known) with his own company, Project Four, to form McLaren International, then valued at 3 million. Fewer than 100 people were employed by the new company at that time. In the 37 years since then, supported by the investment of TAG Group in 1984, Ron has presided over a period of remarkable and prodigious growth. The McLaren Group is today valued at 2.4 billion, had a combined turnover in 2016 of 898 million, and now employs more than 3400 people.

"I am very pleased to have reached agreement with my fellow McLaren shareholders," said Dennis. "It represents a fitting end to my time at McLaren, and will enable me to focus on my other interests. I have always said that my 37 years at Woking should be considered as a chapter in the McLaren book, and I wish McLaren every success as it takes the story forward.

"Perhaps my greatest satisfaction is the Formula 1 team's outstanding racing safety record, which is a tribute to the dedication and efforts of hundreds if not thousands of talented and conscientious employees whom I have had the privilege of leading.

"I will continue to consult for various companies and work with the UK Government's Ministry of Defence Innovation Advisory Panel in helping to improve the technology, the culture and the organisations that together safeguard the UK's national security.

"I will also continue to run my family's charitable foundation - Dreamchasing - which focuses on mentoring and financing children and young people from all walks of life, so that they may aspire to and succeed in whatever their career dreams may be. It was working with Lewis Hamilton, whom I took under my wing when he was just 12 years old, and who became Formula 1 World Champion with McLaren in 2008, that inspired my idea to establish Dreamchasing as a charitable foundation.

"Now that my time at McLaren has come to an end, I will be able to involve myself in a series of other programmes and activities, especially those focused on public service. I will continue to indulge my passion for supporting contemporary artists and collecting their work, but most of all I will be driving new ideas and projects forward.

"Last but far from least, I wish McLaren well, and I send my greatest thanks and best wishes to my colleagues in all corners of its business, and at every level of seniority. Truly, they are the best of the best. And, well funded to succeed and grow, and led by an ambitious management team, McLaren is ideally poised to build on the successes that I am so proud to have contributed to during my time leading such a great British group of companies."

"I would like to pay tribute to Ron's immense contribution to the McLaren success story over the past 37 years," added Shaikh Mohammed bin Essa Al Khalifa (Executive Chairman and Executive Committee principal). "As soon as he had taken over the running of the team in the late autumn of 1980, it was immediately clear that here was a man whose ambition to surpass the achievements of all previous Formula 1 team principals would not be checked. Together with Mansour Ojjeh of TAG Group, whom Ron soon introduced to McLaren and whose support has been invaluable to its success for a third of a century, Ron rewrote the record books in the 1980s and 1990s, winning Grands Prix and World Championships as a matter of apparent routine. But it was not routine: it was in fact the result of a lot of clever thinking and a huge amount of extremely hard work.

"That ethos remains at McLaren, and I am very proud now to be assuming the position of Executive Chairman, alongside Mansour, my fellow Executive Committee principal, who will continue to work with me to drive McLaren Group forward to new successes.

"There will be time in the near future to outline our plans, for the coming months and years will be an extremely exciting time in the story of McLaren. But now, today, it is appropriate that we pause to express our gratitude to Ron. So, on behalf of McLaren and all who sail in her, may I say three heartfelt words: thank you Ron."

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READERS COMMENTS

 

1. Posted by Schnauzers, 07/07/2017 21:18

"The late (and sorely missed, Frank Gardner) had a favourite expression:-

"If Sh*t were snow, he'd blow a blizzard"

I'd like to say it of those that failed to appreciate Ron's successes as well as his failures (Honda 2016?)"

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2. Posted by karel, 03/07/2017 6:53

"McLaren, after Teddy Mayer had it greatest developments and victories with Ron Dennis. Surely he will benefit from this deal, but he has put his mark on McLaren, clearly now it' going the wrong way and likely it feels like the passion is dead at McLaren. "

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3. Posted by Editor, 02/07/2017 10:13

"@ Spindoctor

Totally agree… which is why I have no time for those ‘keyboard experts’ whose only response to the end of an era is “Amen”."

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4. Posted by Spindoctor, 02/07/2017 9:48

"
Not knowing the gruesome details it seems I'm sad at what seems a bitter end to Ron's involvement with McLaren.

Ron Dennis built a World-Class high-tech company that now competes in many areas with the World's best. Let's hope that he finally gets some recognition as probably Britain's most successful entrepreneur of the last 50 years. "Sir" Ron would be a fitting honour, one mysteriously not yet bestowed.

Unlike many more famous (and infamous) Businessmen whose fortunes have come largely from Financial manipulation, Ron has concentrated on Manufacturing & Technology. McLaren's Woking HQ is both a stunning piece of architecture, and an efficient manufacturing base: emphasising good taste, and attention to detail.

His legacy is the foundation of several thriving businesses whose success has been based on investment in talent and R&D. Let's hope the new owners continue the vision.

"

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5. Posted by RS from Calgary, 01/07/2017 21:46

"I wonder if it is the end of an era, or a chance for a new beginning. I can't see Ron 'retiring' given his contribution to motorsport.
I saw at close range how Ron became the master of quality approaches in F1 - adding professionalism to the look and operation of garages at F1 events, especially during the earlier Marlboro-McLaren-Honda days. Ron was also able to manage two premiere race egos - Senna and Prost - with his calm discussions in the motor home. Ron was a tough businessman, but also a fair one.
I wonder if Ron may invest in another team, specifically Williams. I believe he and Claire could make a strong team, and build more British pride by taking the team up a notch. It's just a feeling I have......not based on fact or rumour. And he's already got a few of his old McLaren mates at Williams. "

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6. Posted by Bill Hopgood, 01/07/2017 0:40

"End of an era and what a sad way for it to happen (with his removal from the team).
Of all the people in motorsport I've read about or followed, Ron Dennis would be at the top of the tree for the way the team was turned around, Senna and Prost, Merc coming back in and yes, Honda too.
Bob McMurray's book does talk about some of these.

I still reckon Tim Ferriss would have an outstanding podcast if he interviewed Ron Dennis.

Actually, Editor Chris, maybe Pitpass could do a podcast special with him? Dennis not Ferriss.
"

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7. Posted by Yeyox02, 30/06/2017 18:55

""""""I would like to pay tribute to Ron's immense contribution to the McLaren success story over the past 37 years," added Shaikh Mohammed bin Essa Al Khalifa (Executive Chairman and Executive Committee principal). "As soon as he had taken over the running of the team in the late autumn of 1980, it was immediately clear that here was a man whose ambition to surpass the achievements of all previous Formula 1 team principals would not be checked. """""

What a bunch of Hypocrysy."

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8. Posted by Editor, 30/06/2017 17:41

"@ 4-Wheel Drifter

Nice to see a little respect and appreciation for The Ronster for a change.

Yes, he had his faults, but there's no denying he put his blood sweat and tears into that company… devoted much of his life to it, and while some focus purely on the negatives they so easily forget the positives, and what positives they were."

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9. Posted by 4-Wheel Drifter, 30/06/2017 17:15

"Mr. Ron Dennis has, indeed, been an exemplary leader in F1 with a record only matched by Enzo Ferrari and I wish him the best in the future. As a tifosi I always considered McLaren under his leadership as the team to fear the most and have been saddened by its decline since he stepped aside as its leader. Indeed, for all the Sheik's kind words, I don't expect to see a McLaren in the win column for years, if ever, again."

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10. Posted by testa rossa, 30/06/2017 12:22

"Amen "

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