About a week ago, Elon Musk tweeted about considering making Tesla Inc. a private venture and along with that statement, it was also revealed that Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund had acquired Tesla shares over the last few months.
Now Musk revealed in a Monday blog post that “Going back almost two years, the Saudi Arabian sovereign wealth fund has approached me multiple times about taking Tesla private,” he wrote. “They first met with me at the beginning of 2017 to express this interest because of the important need to diversify away from oil.”
Apparently, in late July, the Saudis have purchased just under 5% of the company’s stock – purchasing more than that would have put public disclosure requirements in motion. After that, they met with Musk again and renewed their interest into funding a buyout.
Then, Musk approached the largest shareholders of the company and see if they had any interest in holding on to their shares with Tesla going private.
He has stated that Tesla is weighed down by enough debt though and that the deal would not be financed with yet more debt, but through equity. For now, Elon Musk has not given any clear numbers as to how much the buyout would cost, though there have been rumors that it would go as high as $70 billion.
For now, Elon Musk wrote that he is ‘having discussions’ with the investors and hopes that they will choose to remain with Tesla even if the company does go private. Musk seems to not be ready to signs a deal with Saudi Arabia just yet and appears to be approaching the deal with caution, stating that everything could still change and, knowing Elon, that could happen on a moment’s notice.