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Saudi Fund in Talks to Invest in Tesla

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13strats   Sunday, 08/12/18 06:02:22 PM
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Saudi Fund in Talks to Invest in Tesla Buyout Deal
By Matthew Martin and Ruth David
August 12, 2018, 8:07 AM CDT Updated on August 12, 2018, 2:52 PM CDT
Discussions are at high level though no commitments are set
PIF has built a stake worth about $2 billion in recent months

Photographer: Patrick T. Fallon/Bloomberg
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Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund is in talks that could see it becoming a significant investor in Tesla as part of Elon Musk’s plan to take the electric car maker private, according to people with knowledge of the fund’s plans.

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. Discussions began before the controversial Aug. 7 tweet by Musk, who is Tesla’s co-founder and chief executive officer, saying he was weighing a plan to take the company private.

The PIF sees its investment in Tesla as a strategic way for the world’s biggest crude producer to hedge against oil, the people said. The Saudi fund hasn’t made any firm decisions on whether to increase its stake, or by how much, but talks are ongoing, they said. It wasn’t immediately clear how much the fund would invest in Tesla.

Musk’s tweet stunned investors, with many raising questions about his claim that funding for the venture had been secured. While the entrepreneur owns 20 percent of Tesla, more than $60 billion would be needed to buy the business from public shareholders.

The PIF didn’t respond to requests for comment, and Tesla declined to comment.


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