Elon Musk reportedly met with Japan’s SoftBank last year about taking Tesla private

SoftBank CEO Masayoshi Son

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SoftBank CEO Masayoshi Son
source
Reuters / Kim Kyung Hoon

  • Tesla CEO Elon Musk met with SoftBank CEO Masayoshi Son about taking the electric-car maker private, Bloomberg reports.
  • The news comes one day after Tesla announced plans to leave public markets.
  • SoftBank has previously invested in Uber, Nvidia and GM’s Cruise.
  • Follow Tesla’s stock price in real-time here.

Tesla’s chief executive Elon Musk met with SoftBank CEO Masayoshi Son in April 2017 about the Japanese investment firm assisting in taking Tesla private, Bloomberg reported Wednesday.

The report came the day after Tesla announced it intended to go private and that funding had been secured, but did not offer any specifics about the unprecedented move.

Two anonymous sources “with knowledge the discussions” told Bloomberg’s Selina Wang and Giles Turner that Musk and Son failed to reach an agreement over structure of the company. The talks are no longer underway, Bloomberg said.

SoftBank and its $100 billion Vision Fund have made a slew of investments in tech firms around the world. So far, it has bought a 20% stake in GM’s Cruise autonomous driving unit and smaller investments in Uber, Nvidia, WeWork, and more.

Tesla was trading around $300 per share in April 2017 when the talks reportedly fell through. Musk tweeted on Tuesday that he would like to leave public markets at $420 per share – a 20% upside to their price that day. At that price, and given Musk’s 20% stake in Tesla, roughly $60 billion would be needed to go private.

Also on Tuesday, the Financial Times reported that Saudi Arabia’s public investment fund – a major backer of SoftBank’s fund – had invested roughly $2 billion in Tesla for a stake representing 3% to 5% of the company.

Shares of Tesla skyrocketed Tuesday when the plan was announced, but have sank about 1.5% in trading Wednesday.

A Tesla spokesperson declined to comment.

Read the full Bloomberg report here>>