Elon Musk says Saudi Arabia could finance bid to take Tesla private

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The country's Public Investment Fund, which has built up a stake of nearly 5 per cent in Tesla in recent months, is exploring how it can be involved in the potential deal, according to Bloomberg.

On Tuesday he tweeted that he had secured funding to buy all Tesla shares and take the company private.

For Saudi Arabia, an investment in Tesla could act as a hedge against the long-term decline of oil. "At this stage, it is hard for Tesla to convince the general investors that delivery will ramp up quickly".

In laying out why he is considering taking Tesla private, Musk pointed in part to shorts. 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. Shares were up two cents to $355.51 in morning trading. Among other things, this will allow me to obtain a more precise understanding of how many of Tesla's existing public shareholders would remain shareholders if we became private.

Musk has also said he would be looking to keep his ownership of Tesla at around 20 percent in a buyout deal, and that a special objective vehicle, like the one that exists at his aerospace company SpaceX, would allow Tesla shareholders to remain invested if they so choose.

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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. I will now continue to talk with investors, and I have engaged advisors to investigate a range of potential structures and options. Musk said he has continued to communicate with the sovereign fund's managing director since last week, and that the managing director has "expressed support for proceeding subject to financial and other due diligence".

Musk is interested in having a wide pool of investors rather than few stakeholders.

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, which has been gathering information about Tesla's public pronouncements on manufacturing goals and sales targets, is intensifying its scrutiny of the company's public statements in the wake of Musk's tweet, people familiar with the matter have said.

Tesla founder and CEO Elon Musk used Twitter late Friday to taunt investors who have bet against his company, even though his previous Twitter comments have spurred a government investigation and shareholder lawsuits.

The company has invested US$3.5b in Uber in June 2016, teamed up with Softbank for a US$93b tech fund in May, and pledged to invest about US$1b in Virgin Group's space companies, Virgin Galactic in October.

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