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

13 August, 2018, 19:09 | Author: Kevin Carter
  • US market regulators are reportedly stepping up their scrutiny of Elon Musk's claim that he has the financing to take Tesla private

Moody's Investor Services on Friday had said Musk's consideration to take Tesla private was credit negative, noting the company's negative cash flow in the second quarter and maturities of $1.2 billion in convertible debt through March 2019.

"I left the July 31st meeting with no question that a deal with the Saudi sovereign fund could be closed", Musk said. Mr Musk did not prove he had the funds to finance the operation - despite tweeting "funding secured".

The lawsuits were filed three days after Musk stunned investors by announcing on Twitter that he might take Tesla private in a record $72 billion transaction that valued the company at $420 per share, and that "funding" had been "secured".

The Public Investment Fund, which has built up a stake just shy of 5 percent in Tesla in recent months, is exploring how it can be involved in the potential deal, said the people, who asked not to be identified talking about the matter.

Musk said he still expects to own around 20 percent of Tesla after any transaction and that he hopes all shareholders will remain owners of a private company. "As a public company, we are subject to wild swings in our stock price that can be a major distraction for everyone working at Tesla, all of whom are shareholders", Musk wrote, according to Forbes.

More news: Chinese Exports Accelerate As US Prepares New Tariffs In Heated Row

The stock has since given back more than two-thirds of that gain, in part following reports that the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission had begun inquiring about Musk's activity. Tesla did not respond to a request for comment.

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. I will now continue to talk with investors, and I have engaged advisors to investigate a range of potential structures and options. Finally, one of PIF's key goals is to diversify Saudi Arabia's wealth away from oil, and the fund already made numerous investments in technology and energy companies, including a $400 million investment in Magic Leap and a $3.5 billion investment in Uber.

Discussions over taking Tesla private have failed before. The discussions failed to progress due to disagreements over ownership.

Musk added that he has continued talks with the managing director of the Saudi fund who wishes to move forward with the process. As a result, PIF itself chose to buy around $2 billion in Tesla shares, reportedly with the help of an investment bank.

Tesla is facing a make-or-break moment in its eight-year history as a public company, as competition from European automakers is poised to intensify with new electric vehicles from Mercedes, Audi, BMW and other rivals.

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