Tesla looking to go private with backing of Saudi fund


While Musk used Monday's blog post as a way to show the tweets were part of an effort to be completely transparent with shareholders about wanting Tesla to be a private company, sources told the paper it was impulsive and was driven by feelings of anger for the vehicle maker's critics.

Musk disclosed on Monday that he had been in talks with Saudi Arabia's sovereign wealth fund and other potential investors on a plan that would delist Tesla from the stock market. Funding to take the company private is apparently secured as well.

That's according to the New York Times, which, citing people familiar with the chain of events that unfolded last week, reported Musk's tweets weren't given much thought ahead of time and were not vetted with the company's board.

The Saudi fund intends to sell its $70 billion stake in Saudi Basic Industries to oil giant Aramco, which could free up funds for new deals, but that sale may take months to conclude.

On Monday, he said financing had been discussed with Saudi Arabia.

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PIF officials have said in the past that decisions at the sovereign wealth fund are made with care, emphasising corporate governance. The PIF board is headed by the Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

That tweet may have created a sticky situation for Musk as it appears the funding may not be locked up just yet.

Tesla CEO Elon Musk's elaboration on his plan to engineer a buyout of the electric auto maker could get the Silicon Valley maverick into legal trouble by revealing that the deal is far more uncertain than how he initially described it in his brash tweet last week.

The company said in the statement that the special committee has the authority to take any action on behalf of the board to evaluate and negotiate a potential transaction and alternatives to any transaction proposed by Musk. Discussing full details on the plan, including the source and nature of the funding, would be "premature" now, he said. What's more, a deal would likely prompt a review but the Committee on Foreign Investments in the USA, noted the paper. The multi-agency oversight operation could also determine whether the investment gave the Saudi's access to critical technology.