WASHINGTON (Sputnik) – A Saudi Arabian sovereign wealth fund has agreed to support a plan to turn US electric car manufacturer Tesla into a privately-owned entity, CEO Elon Musk said in a statement.
“The Saudi Arabian sovereign wealth fund has approached me multiple times about taking Tesla private,” Musk said in a blog post on the company’s site on Monday. “I have continued to communicate with the Managing Director of the Saudi fund. He has expressed support for proceeding.”
The move, Must added, would be subject to financial and other sorts of due diligence as well as the Saudi fund’s internal process for obtaining approvals.
Musk said he left a meeting in July with no question that a deal with the Saudi fund could be closed which is why he used the term “funding secured” in his announcement on August 7.
Musk said he notified Tesla’s board on August 2 of a plan for private investors to purchase the company for $420 per share, around 18 percent higher than Monday’s closing price of $354.
Musk said his plan would allow owners of publicly-traded Tesla shares to remain part of the restructured company.
“My best estimate right now is that approximately two-thirds of shares owned by all current investors would roll over into a private Tesla,” Musk said in the release.
Taking Tesla private could help the company with its existing debt, now nearly $9.5 billion. With the current value of Tesla at more than $70 billion, the privatization would become the largest buyout in history.
On August 7, Musk in a Twitter post said he had secured funding to take the company private. Two hours later the Nasdaq stock exchange halted trading of all Tesla shares and by the end of the week a class action lawsuit was filed accusing Musk of trying to artificially manipulate the company’s stock price