Rumours are circulating that Apple could be about to buy a major stake in Formula 1 (F1).
Notable F1 blogger Joe Saward wrote on Wednesday that a new round of due diligence is currently underway in preparation of a possible F1 bid from Apple.
“The whisper is that the latest bidder is Apple Inc., which is a company with $161 billion (£122 billion) in net cash at the moment,” he wrote.
There’s no solid evidence to support these rumours at this stage, but it’s easy to see why they have come about.
In addition to a huge pile of cash, Apple also has a car in development, and a TV platform in need of content.
Apple’s car project, nicknamed “Project Titan”, would likely benefit from access to car makers and top-tier teams like Ferrari and McLaren.
Meanwhile, Apple TV, which has struggled to attract the masses, could get exclusive digital content rights to F1 coverage. To support the argument even further,
Apple also needs to invest its cash in foreign territories in order to avoid taking a tax hit if it were otherwise repatriated to the US.
It’s worth noting that a large chunk of the 40-year-old sports group is very much up for sale.
F1 boss Bernie Ecclestone, now 85-years-old, said in March that there were two parties interested in buying a leading stake in the F1 series for around £6 billion, according to The Drum.
“There are people who want to buy,” Ecclestone reportedly said. “Actually, two of the people have agreed the price. It’s just a question of whether CVC [a holding company with a 35% stake in F1] wants to sell or not.”
The move would admittedly be an unusual one for Apple, which tends to favour buying smaller startups and folding them into its business instead of forking out billions of dollars on larger businesses — and it would be more unusual still for Apple to invest in a company within the sporting arena.
Apple and the Formula One Group did not immediately respond to Business Insider’s requests for comment.