Tesla Inc. CEO Elon Musk says he's in talks with the Saudi Arabian sovereign wealth fund about taking the electric auto and solar panel maker private, but no deal has been finalized. "However, it wouldn't be right to share information about going private with just our largest investors without sharing the same information with all investors at the same time".
Several analysts have said going-private would make sense for Tesla but expressed skepticism about the company's ability to raise the required funds.
Musk published a blog post confirming a report that Saudi Arabia's Public Interest Fund would be the previously unknown party bankrolling the move to re-privatize the company - and revealing that his tweet last week claiming "funding secured" was merely an assumption on his part.
The Saudi investment fund approached Musk months ago to discuss acquiring a minority stake but was turned down as the company did not plan on issuing new shares at the time, a source close to the discussions told Bloomberg.
But Isaacs said Tesla's and Musk's conduct caused the volatility that cost short-sellers hundreds of millions of dollars from having to cover their short positions, and caused all Tesla securities purchasers to pay inflated prices.
"Basically, I'm trying to accomplish an outcome where Tesla can operate at its best, free from as much distraction and short-term thinking as possible, and where there is as little change for all of our investors, including all of our employees, as possible", Musk wrote.
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The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has started an inquiry into whether Musk's claims were misleading. Reuters has also reported that Tesla's board of directors is still waiting for a detailed financing plan from Musk.
Musk's August 7 tweets helped push Tesla's stock price more than 13 percent above the prior day's close.
The PIF and Tesla didn't respond to requests for comment.
Musk said that since his Twitter posts last week the managing director of the Saudi fund had expressed support for proceeding with the deal subject to financial and other due diligence. I will now continue to talk with investors, and I have engaged advisors to investigate a range of potential structures and options.
A Tesla investment would add to the Saudi fund's long growing list of high-profile purchases. As a result, PIF itself made a decision to buy about US$2 billion in Tesla shares on the market with the help of an investment bank, the person said. The government is planning to turn the PIF into a $2 trillion powerhouse to help diversify the kingdom's oil-dependent economy.