The billionaire’s investment firm Soros Fund Management LLC took a $35 million stake in the electric automaker’s convertible bonds in the first three months of 2018, according to SEC filings. The bonds, which can be converted into a predetermined number of common shares, giving investors the ability to choose between profiting from stock price changes or earning a steady fixed-income yield, are due to expire in March 2019.
At the end of March, Tesla’s bonds came under heavy selling pressure. Investors, worried that delays manufacturing the electric automaker’s Model 3 sedans would lead the company to run out of cash, betted against the bonds, pushing the cost of opening up new positions shorting Tesla’s debt to an all-time high. (See also: Traders Betting 'Heavily' Against Tesla's Junk Bonds, Shares: IHS Markit.)
Concerns that Tesla could go broke were also fueled by several crashes involving its Autopilot vehicle technology and an exodus of high profile staff.
This isn’t the first time that billionaire Soros has come to Tesla CEO Elon Musk’s rescue. In 2016, Soros’s firm helped Musk to raise $305 million to shore up SolarCity Corp.’s balance sheet. Later that year, Tesla acquired the solar panel firm for $2.6 billion.
Soros also held Tesla stock, although according to Reuters he sold off his stake last year.
Soros is now reportedly keen to start trading digital currency at his New York-based family office. He previously described the cryptocurrency market as a “bubble” back in January. (See also: George Soros Fund to Invest in Cryptocurrency.)