Saudis in talks to take Tesla private: Elon Musk

Tesla,Elon Musk,Telsa to go private

Tesla Motors Inc Chief Executive Elon Musk pauses during a news conference in Tokyo

Tesla Inc and Chief Executive Elon Musk were sued twice on Friday by investors who said they fraudulently engineered a scheme to squeeze short-sellers, including through Musk's proposal to take the electric auto company private.

While Tesla CEO Elon Musk teased last week about taking the company private, several suitors may have already been courting the electric auto giant months ago.

On Tuesday he tweeted that he had secured funding to buy all Tesla shares and take the company private.

"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", Musk wrote. But doubts over the financing of a transaction to go private, and warnings from securities lawyers and experts that his tweet could have broken the law, wiped out most of the stocks' gains over the course of the week.

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And one source familiar with the negotiations said U.S Trade Representative Bob Lighthizer will not go easy when Canada joins the talks again.

According to the report, which cites people with knowledge of PIF's plans, the fund is working to be a part of "any investor pool that emerges" to take Tesla private.

"They first met with me at the beginning of 2017 to express this interest because of the important need to diversify away from oil". The US Securities Exchange Board has questioned the authenticity of Musk's tweets. CEO Elon Musk's audacious plan to take the carmaker private is distracting dealmakers from a normally quiet August spent in the Hamptons or Southern France.

One suit claims Musk and the company committed fraud in a "short squeeze" scheme to drive up Tesla's stock price higher. Among the reasons, they said, is that SoftBank has already placed big bets on the future of the automobile with General Motors Co., and that Tesla faces increased competition and has yet to deliver on its mass-market ambitions. Tesla and PIF did not comment on either story.

The Public Investment Fund approached Musk several months ago to discuss buying a minority stake, but he initially resisted the investment and said there were no plans to issue new shares, according to a different person familiar with the talks at the time. The group's Vision Fund - an nearly $100 billion pool of capital dedicated to investing in the industry - has recently invested in coworking company WeWork Co. and food-delivery service DoorDash Inc. He later tweeted that investor support was already confirmed. Sources said he is canvassing other potential investors including asset managers.

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