This week the business and tech world was stunned when Elon Musk hinted on August 7, via Twitter of course, that he wanted to take Tesla private. The estimated price tag for such a move is commonly put at up to $72 billion. Shortly after that no ‘ white knights ’ appeared and Tesla’s shares plummeted. But today, Bloomberg came out with a new report which might well fan the flames of speculation on Monday. Its story has sources which say that Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund (called the Public Investment Fund or PIF) was already in talks with Tesla to become a significant investor before Musk’s tweets. The timing of this revelation is important, because the PIF has already built up a stake — valued at about $2 billion — just short of 5 percent in Tesla in recent months. One could easily surmise that the world’s biggest crude oil producer might well be considering a stake in the world’s most iconic electric car company to hedge against oil. Indeed, that is exactly what Bloomberg’s sources are telling them. Now, part of the reasons the PIF might be talking to Tesla is that the car maker is alleged to have already had limited talks with SoftBank, of which PIF is a major baker. What makes these rumours so interesting is that Saudi Arabia’s government is planning to supercharge the PIF into a $2 trillion fund. And a major (let me repeat that) major focus of the PIF is technology. Why? The Saudis are extremely keen to diversify the kingdom’s oil-dependent economy and it needs a war-chest and technology assets to do that. This policy is being driven by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, the next in line to the thrown and dubbed ‘MBS’ by everyone in Saudi. Since he was named heir-apparent last year he’s been on a tear, restricting the powers of the religious police, removing the ban on female drivers and various other cultural reforms
Home / Tech News & Announcements / A private Tesla backed by Saudi Arabia might not be as far-fetched as you think
Less talk, more walk.