Elon Musk Says Saudi Fund Is Behind Move to Take Tesla Private

Elon Musk is offering a few more details about his proposal to delist Tesla from the stock market, saying in a blog post Monday that the Saudi Arabian sovereign wealth fund has approached him several times about taking the automaker private.

Additionally, he said, the $70 billion price tag that has been floated as a potential price for such an action is wildly inflated, as he expects two-thirds of current investors would opt to roll over to a private ownership stake.

While the Saudi fund is the most visible and most likely partner in Musk’s explorations of taking Tesla private, he says it’s not the only one.

“I continue to have discussions with the Saudi fund, and I also am having discussions with a number of other investors, which is something that I always planned to do since I would like for Tesla to continue to have a broad investor base,” he wrote.

Musk and the Saudi fund first met in early 2017, he says, where the group expressed interest in diversifying its holdings. The group already holds a 5% stake in Tesla. On July 31, the two parties met again and the fund’s managing director “expressed regret” Musk had not moved to take the company private and again expressed his support for that action.

“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,” said Musk. “This is why I referred to ‘funding secured’ in the August 7th announcement.”

He posted last week’s tweet, he says, as he felt all investors should have the same information at the same time. No action will be taken until a final proposal is submitted, which will include the nature and source of the funding.

Musk’s post could answer some questions, but not all investors will be satisfied. One has already sued him for the tweet and Securites and Exchange Commission is looking into how the announcement was made as well.

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