Conflicting Reports on PIF Interest in Massive Tesla Stake

Conflicting reports have surfaced on the interest level of Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund in purchasing a large stake in Tesla, which could enable the electric car company founded by Elon Musk to go private.

Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund (PIF) is “working to be part of any investor pool that emerges to take Tesla private,” Bloomberg News reported. PIF recently built a stake just under of 5 percent in the company and “is exploring how it can be involved,” according to Bloomberg.

But two sources told Reuters that the PIF has shown “no interest so far” in financing Tesla’s proposed $72 billion deal to take the U.S. electric car maker private.

As Reuters notes, Musk “stunned financial markets on Tuesday when he said on Twitter that he was considering a take-private deal for Tesla” and said he had secured funding for the proposal, without providing details.

One of the two sources cited by Reuters said that the Saudi fund “would not make an investment of this kind without seeking guidance first from Softbank.” According to separate sources who spoke to Reuters last week, Softbank is currently not pursuing an investment in Tesla given its investment earlier this year in rival GM Cruise.