Musk says he's talking with Saudi fund to take Tesla private

Tesla has been targeted by short-sellers- the hedge fund managers Jim Chanos and David Einhorn in particular- who are betting on the company's failure

Saudi Arabia's sovereign wealth fund has been pushing to take electric carmaker Tesla private in talks with Chief Executive Elon Musk dating back almost two years and also backed the deal last week, Musk said in a blog post on Monday.

While explaining the logic of taking Tesla private, Musk had stated in a blog post: "As the most shorted stock in the history of the stock market, being public means that there are large numbers of people who have the incentive to attack the company".

Musk added that the Saudi Arabian sovereign wealth fund "has approached me multiple times" starting in early 2017 about taking Tesla private.

"During the meeting, the Managing Director of the fund expressed regret that I had not moved forward previously on a going private transaction with them, and he strongly expressed his support for funding a going private transaction for Tesla at this time", Musk said.

The meeting came after the Saudi fund bought nearly 5 percent of Tesla stock, wrote Musk, who added that most of the capital needed to go private would be funded by private equity rather than debt.

He also is in talks with other investors because he wants Tesla to continue to have a "broad investor base", he wrote.

Saudi Arabia-Canada spat hits 16,000 students as the Kingdom suspends scholarships
Jubeir added that Saudi Arabia was "considering additional measures" against Canada, without elaborating. Since then, the Saudi kingdom has pursued a scorched-earth policy towards anything related to Canada.


SoftBank isn't planning to participate as a potential source of capital in a deal taking Tesla private, according to people with knowledge of that matter who asked not to be identified as the details aren't public. The timeline begins on August 2, when Musk told the board that he wanted to take Tesla private. Once those discussions are complete, Musk will bring a proposal to Tesla's board.

A few days after Elon Musk shocked Wall Street and investors by tweeting that he would take Tesla private at $420 a share, speculation is still high on who could invest in what could be the biggest-ever buyout deal. Musk says he will continue to talk to investors and advisers to "obtain a more precise understanding" of the intricacies of the deal. I do not think it would be wise to burden Tesla with significantly increased debt.

Tesla shares were down a fraction of a percentage point in late-morning trading, and they had lost about 6 percent of their value since shooting up Tuesday following Musk's Twitter bombshell.

It also reflects the fact that Tesla, once the clear leader in the electric-car market, is facing increasing competition and has yet to deliver on its mass production ambitions.

What are the next steps?

Elon Musk stunned investors last week with his tweet. "So the potential investor must be patient and strategic-looking".

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