Saudi Arabia Might Not Fund Elon Musk’s Take-Tesla-Private Plans After All

August 20, 2018, 11:00 AM UTC

The blows just keep coming for Elon Musk.

In August alone the entrepreneur has become the subject of an SEC investigation, made a dubious Twitter announcement about taking his company Tesla private, and gave a teary interview to the New York Times, causing Tesla shares to plummet.

Now it looks like the Saudi Arabian sovereign wealth fund, the main candidate to take Tesla private, might actually invest in a Tesla rival instead. Reuters reported on Sunday that the Saudi Public Investment Fund (PIF) was in talks with Lucid Motors Inc. Lucid Motors is already privately held, and PIF’s interest in investing highlights the fund’s agnostic desire to diversify its portfolio, rather than any specific interest in Tesla.

Although Musk indicated that financing to de-list Tesla had been secured from PIF, others questioned whether the sovereign wealth fund had enough cash to do the deal, as it’s already having difficulty with its existing commitments. Investing in Lucid Motors may be more in line with the fund’s resources, according to Reuters.

Lucid Motors was founded in 2007 by a former Tesla executive. Although the company is not yet selling cars, it is taking $2,500 deposits from consumers towards a $100,000 luxury sedan the company hasn’t even started building yet.