Softbank And Elon Musk Held Talks About taking Tesla Private Last Year

Photo by MIKI Yoshihito from Flickr

Last year, Elon Musk, the chief executive of Tesla, met with the head of Softbank, the Japanese mega-investor, to talk about a possible investment in the firm, including the probability of taking it private.

Sources close to the matter informed Bloomberg that in April last year, Masayoshi Son held discussions with Musk regarding the matter, however, the negotiations on taking Tesla off the public stock market was not able to progress because of “disagreements over ownership.”

Last Tuesday, Musk surprised the world with a tweet in which he disclosed that he was considering taking the manufacturer of electric vehicles private, despite the company never being able to make a profit.

The said move prompted an increase in the share price of Tesla, rising by 11 percent before the trading was suspended temporarily. However, yesterday, the firm lost some of those gains as analysts continued to be sceptical regarding the ability of Musk to drum up sufficient funding.

A source disclosed that Musk had suggested a structure to Softbank which would have granted him “disproportionate” control over the firm with supervoting rights. There are no active discussions in place today.

The representatives of Softbank and Tesla did not immediately answer requests for comments regarding the matter.

Yesterday, the share price of Tesla closed in the United States down by 2.4 percent. This morning, it has edged by an additional 1.4 percent down in pre-market trading.

Softbank is recognised for investing huge sums into tech firms around the world, usually through its $100bn Vision Fund. The Saudi Arabian Public Investment Fund, one of the major backers of the fund, has established a $2 billion stake in Tesla to date.

A takeover by Softbank could produce an intervention in the terms of the deal by the government of the United States of America, which has prevented significant investment deals coming from foreign entities into companies in the United States in recent years.