Musk says Saudi wealth fund keen to back Tesla buyout


Elon Musk
Elon Musk

Tesla CEO Elon Musk said yesterday he was still in talks with potential backers of a possible buyout of the company, including Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund, but had not completed securing the funding.

In a blog post, Musk said the Saudi fund had been pushing to take the electric car-maker private in talks dating back nearly two years and also backed the deal last week.

The post fleshed out the Silicon Valley billionaire’s shock announcement on August 7 that he was considering taking the company private and had “secured” funding. But Tesla shares were up only minimally in early trading, suggesting investors are yet to be convinced.

“I continue to have discussions with the Saudi fund, and I also am having discussions with a number of other investors, which is something that I always planned to do since I would like for Tesla to continue to have a broad investor base,” Musk wrote.

He said that since his Twitter posts on the possibility of a deal, the managing director of the Saudi fund had expressed support for proceeding subject to financial and other due diligence. Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund (PIF) is known for its technology investments, including the $45bn (€39bn) it has spent in SoftBank Group Corp’s Vision Fund.

The fund did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Tesla declined to comment further beyond Musk’s blog post. Several analysts have said going private would make sense for Tesla but expressed scepticism about the company’s ability to raise the required funds.

After opening sharply higher, Tesla shares were up just 0.5pc at $357 in early trading yesterday, almost 8pc below last week’s peak. (Reuters)

Irish Independent