Saudi Arabia's Public Investment Fund (PIF) has shown no interest so far in financing Tesla Inc TSLA.O CEO Elon Musk's proposed $72 billion deal to take the US electric auto maker private, despite acquiring a minority stake in the company this year, two sources familiar with the matter said.
The Saudi Public Investment Fund, which has built up a stake of 5pc, is interested in expanding that if the electric carmaker abandons Wall Street, Bloomberg News reported. On Tuesday he tweeted that he had secured funding to buy all Tesla shares and take the company private. It wasn't immediately clear how much the fund would invest in Tesla.
Investment bankers and analysts have so far reacted with scepticism, telling Reuters it would be hard for Musk, whose net worth is pegged by Forbes at $22 billion, to raise the equity and debt financing needed for the deal given Tesla is not turning a profit.
Musk's tweet stunned investors, with many raising questions about his claim that funding for the venture had been secured. The Securities and Exchange Commission is investigating Musk's disclosure of the potential deal, according to reports earlier this week.
Am considering taking Tesla private at $420. On Friday, two separate lawsuits were filed against Tesla by investors claiming Musk's online behavior violated federal securities laws.
The company later published an email sent by Musk to the company's employees outlining how the company might be taken private, yet still provide stock options for existing shareholders. The discussions failed to progress due to disagreements over ownership.
A Saudi sovereign wealth fund is in talks that could make it a significant investor in Tesla if it is taken private. The PIF is also a major backer of SoftBank's Vision Fund. The government is planning to turn the PIF into a $2 trillion powerhouse to help diversify the kingdom's oil-dependent economy.