In a tweet on Monday, the electric car maker’s CEO hinted that he is pushing forward with his plans, claiming that Goldman Sachs Group Inc. (GS) and Silver Lake are now working with him as financial advisors and Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen and & Katz, and Munger, Tolles & Olson as legal advisors.
I’m excited to work with Silver Lake and Goldman Sachs as financial advisors, plus Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz and Munger, Tolles & Olson as legal advisors, on the proposal to take Tesla private
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) August 14, 2018
Shortly after the tech entrepreneur updated his followers on his latest progress, Reuters reported that Silver Lake has not been hired as a financial advisor in an official capacity and is instead offering assistance to Musk without compensation. The wire service’s source also confirmed that the private equity firm is not in talks to become an investor in Tesla CEO’s proposed take-private deal.
Musk’s latest tweet came shortly after he addressed his earlier controversial decision to reveal that Tesla was in talks with investors about taking the electric car maker private. In a blog post, the entrepreneur confirmed that his claim that he had already secured funding for a buyout was based on repeated and ongoing conversations with the official sovereign wealth fund of the Saudi Arabian government. (See also: Tesla's Musk Faces Class Action Suits Over Tweet.)
"Going back almost two years, the Saudi Arabian sovereign wealth fund has approached me multiple times about taking Tesla private," Musk said in the blog post. "Recently, after the Saudi fund bought almost 5 percent of Tesla stock through the public markets, they reached out to ask for another meeting. That meeting took place on July 31. ... I left the July 31 meeting with no question that a deal with the Saudi sovereign fund could be closed."
Over the past few days, conflicting reports have emerged about whether the Saudi Kingdom’s Public Investment Fund (PIF) is in fact interested in bankrolling Tesla’s buyout. The Wall Street Journal reported on Monday that PIF is in discussions to increase its stake. Bloomberg’s sources also came to a similar conclusion over the weekend, although separate people familiar with the matter told Reuters that it is unlikely that the Saudi fund is a credible candidate as SoftBank Group, one of its investments, is backing rival firm General Motors Co. (GM). (See also: Tesla Buyout: Conflicting Reports About Saudi Fund Involvement Emerge.)
In the blog post, Musk maintained that he is still in talks with the Saudi fund, as well as “a number of other investors.”
“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,” he said. “It is appropriate to complete those discussions before presenting a detailed proposal to an independent board committee.”
Tesla’s shares closed at $356.41 on Monday, indicating that investors remain skeptical about Musk’s ability to raise enough capital to buy shareholders out at $420.