Saudi Fund Reportedly in Talks to Invest in Tesla Buyout Deal
Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund would be the main source of money for Tesla CEO Elon Musk’s grand plan to take the company private, but the deal isn’t done yet.
Last week, Musk announced that he wanted to take Tesla private again and had “secured” the multibillion-dollar funding for it. Now, he’s written another blog post to clarify the situation, though it’s at odds with a separate report from this past weekend.
Today, Musk posted on Tesla’s website to explain what’s been happening behind the scenes as Tesla potentially prepares to go private. The post appears to name Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund, the country’s investment vehicle, as being responsible for the funding that Musk said was “secured” in his tweet.
According to the blog post, the fund first met with Musk in early 2017 to discuss going private again, and the two parties met multiple times thereafter. The most recent meeting took place on July 31, after the Saudi fund had accumulated a minority stake of about 5 percent.
“Going back almost two years, the Saudi Arabian sovereign wealth fund has approached me multiple times about taking Tesla private,” Musk wrote.
Musk wrote that given the enthusiasm for taking Tesla private and given that the fund has “more than enough capital” to bankroll this sort of a transaction, he left the meeting “with no question” that a deal could be closed, and it would only be a matter of getting the process going.
According to the blog post, the Managing Director of the Saudi fund has “expressed support for proceeding subject to financial and other due diligence and their internal review process for obtaining approvals.” Apparently, the managing director has also “asked for additional details on how the company would be taken private, including any required percentages and any regulatory requirements.”
Musk says Tesla‘s board still needs to put together a plan that it can agree upon, at which point it will be offered up to a shareholder vote. Only once the shareholders approve the plan can it proceed. Until that happens, Musk said he’ll keep talking to investors and advisors about the best way to go forward.