DaimlerChrysler may raise its minority stake in British Formula One team McLaren, the world's fifth-biggest carmaker said on Wednesday.
"It is no secret that DaimlerChrysler has the possibility to raise its 40 percent stake in the McLaren Group. It has not been decided whether this will happen," a spokesman for Mercedes-Benz Motorsport said.
He was responding to a report in Germany's Auto Motor und Sport magazine that Mercedes was close to acquiring the remaining 60 percent it does not own in McLaren Group.
No one was immediately available to comment at McLaren. Team boss Ron Dennis and Saudi investor Mansour Ojjeh each own 30 percent of McLaren.
DaimlerChrysler shares fell 1 percent to 61.48 euros by 0751 GMT, while the DJ Stoxx European car sector index eased 0.1 percent.
Daimler acquired a 40 percent stake in 1999 for an estimated $400 million.
The Mercedes spokesman said any move to increase its stake would have no influence on the team leadership and that Dennis would stay in charge.
Auto Motor und Sport said senior DaimlerChrysler executives had worked out the final details of a deal with Dennis at the German Grand Prix last month.
The McLaren Group includes the Formula One team McLaren International as well as McLaren Cars, which builds the Mercedes-Benz SLR supercar.
Buying McLaren would let Mercedes follow its German rival BMW and mount its own Formula One team. It already has a wholly owned unit, Mercedes-Benz High Performance Engines, that provides the engines for Formula One cars.