Last Tuesday, Tesla CEO Elon Musk tweeted out that he was considering taking the automaker private and had "secured" funding. Since then, the question of who is providing the funding has been left unanswered. Today, Musk wrote up a blog post that provides some insight.
The post reveals that Saudi Arabia's Public Investment Fund is responsible for the possible funding of Tesla's move to private. In the last two years, representatives of the fund have met with Musk and discussed possibly taking the company off the market. The most recent meeting was on July 31st, after the fund bought an almost 5 percent stake.
"During the meeting, the Managing Director of the fund expressed regret that I had not moved forward previously on a going private transaction with them, and he strongly expressed his support for funding a going private transaction for Tesla at this time. I understood from him that no other decision makers were needed and that they were eager to proceed," Musk wrote.
"I left the July 31st meeting with no question that a deal with the Saudi sovereign fund could be closed, and that it was just a matter of getting the process moving. This is why I referred to “funding secured” in the August 7th announcement."
The board was notified about Musk's intentions to take Tesla private on August 2nd. From there, the board held a meeting (minus Musk and his brother Kimbal, who is also a board member) to discuss this possibility. Musk also planned to speak to the company's largest shareholders about the possible move.
Towards the end of the post, Musk said he is continuing "to communicate with the Managing Director of the Saudi fund," and that "he has expressed support for proceeding subject to financial and other due diligence and their internal review process for obtaining approvals."
But there is one big question that is unanswered; did Musk secure the funding when he made that tweet or not? As we reported last week, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is looking into whether or not Musk was lying about the funding.
If Musk was able to get the funding, it will be quite awhile before Tesla can become private. Per the blog post, the board needs to put together a plan that it can agree upon. From there, shareholders will vote on the plan. If approved, Tesla can start on the next steps.
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