(Reuters) – The Saudi Public Investment Fund has not yet expressed a desire to fund a proposal by Tesla chief executive Elon Mask to buy the US automaker in a $ 72 billion deal despite the acquisition of a minority stake, In the company this year.
The 47-year-old investor, investor and engineer, stunned financial markets on Tuesday when he said on Twitter he was considering a deal to acquire all Tesla, the world's leading automaker, which has developed the world's first fully electric sedan. He also said he secured funding for the proposal without going into details.
Investors and analysts saw the PIF as a natural financing partner. Far from taking a share of just under 5 percent in Tesla, the Sovereign Wealth Fund injected tens of billions of dollars into technology investments, including $ 45 billion in the bank's Vision Fund over five years Years.
However, a source familiar with PIF's strategy said he was not currently involved in any financing of the Tesla acquisition.
A second source familiar with the matter also said that the Public Investment Fund was not involved in any such plan at that stage. This source said that the Saudi Fund will not make any investment of this kind without seeking guidance from Softbank first.
Reuters reported on Wednesday that Softbank is not currently seeking a deal on Tesla given its investment earlier this year in rival GM. Cruise.
The PIF's expression of its unwillingness to finance the deal put pressure on Masque to disclose details of its financing plan.
The Tesla board has not received a detailed funding plan and is seeking more information, Reuters reported on Thursday.
A third source said the board would decide whether to appoint advisers and launch a formal review of a proposal to buy the company's shares in full in the coming days based on the size of the details of the financing plan it will receive from Mask.
The sources requested anonymity because the deliberations were confidential. A spokesman for the Public Investment Fund was not immediately available for comment, while a Tesla spokesman declined to comment on the company and Masak.
The US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) contacted Tesla to inquire about the confirmation by Mr Maskett on Twitter that the funding for his proposed deal was "secured", the Wall Street Journal reported on Wednesday.
Tesla is facing a crucial period in its eight-year history as a publicly traded company that has to decide whether to continue or not. Competition with European automakers is expected to increase with the introduction of new Mercedes, Audi, BMW and others .
The takeover of Tesla's entire shares and its conversion into private ownership would remove pressure on hedge funds that bet that the company's stock will fall due to its production problems and negative cash flows. As well as the Wall Street glare that comes with the quarterly results announcement.
In a letter to employees last Tuesday, Mask offered an option for shareholders to sell their shares for $ 420 a share or to remain as private investors in Tesla.
Masque also said it would look forward to keeping its ownership in Tesla at around 20 percent in an acquisition, and a private vessel like its space company Spacex would allow Tesla shareholders to continue investing if they chose.
Bankers in the investment services and analysts sector have been skeptical and told Reuters it would be difficult for Maskace, who estimated Forbes $ 22 billion in wealth, to raise equity and debt financing for the deal as Tesla does not make a profit.
Some analysts have speculated that Mask could persuade Tesla's top shareholders, such as Fidelity Investments and China's Vincent, to join their stake in the deal so that the amount of funding would be reduced.
But analysts say the structure of the deal will pose significant logistical and legal challenges when it comes to buying the share of smaller shareholders.