Middle East nation’s investor fund wants to raise its ownership stake in the California-based automaker

Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund has a stake of almost five percent in Tesla, but a new report from Bloomberg claims that the Middle Eastern nation wants to raise its stake by being a part of any investor pool that will be created in response to Elon Musk’s plan to take the electric car maker private. It’s unclear if these plans will gain any traction because the process of taking Tesla private is going to be a difficult task.

Turning Tesla private could carry a price tag of $82 billion, a staggering sum even for a company that’s growing at the pace that it has in recent years

There are obviously a lot of layers to this story, but from the perspective of the Saudi Kingdom’s Public Investment Fund, this is all about becoming more involved in the future affairs of the electric car brand. The sovereign nation’s wealth fund already has a stake of a little under five percent in the company, but previous reports indicated that the fund was looking to get a bigger piece of that pie, only to be rebuffed by Tesla CEO Elon Musk.

That sentiment could change in the wake of Musk’s announcement to take Tesla private. That announcement created a maelstrom of reactions from all corners, including intense scrutiny from current investors, a lot of whom were taken aback by Musk’s tweet last week announcing his plans with a proclamation that he had already secured funding to get the process of turning Tesla private started.

Turning Tesla private could carry a price tag of $82 billion, a staggering sum even for a company that’s growing at the pace that it has in recent years. Still, as mesmerizing as that figure looks, it’s not a foregone conclusion that the deal is going to get overwhelming support from investors and the U.S. government. According to separate reports, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission has already started examining the validity of Musk’s plans. Even if the SEC discovers that Musk’s plans are above board, there’s also the matter of how much money it’s going to take to actually buy the business back from public shareholders. Even with musk owning 20 percent of Tesla, the estimates being thrown around reveal that more than $60 billion would be needed to turn Tesla private.

Saudi Arabia Wants A Bigger Piece of Tesla, But Can it Really Do It in Light Of Elon Musk's Plans To Turn Tesla Private?
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Past attempts to take Tesla private have failed because of the amount of money it’s going to take

Where the company is going to get that amount is the big question. The Bloomberg report claims that Musk wants to avoid having one or two large shareholders in the company, presumably because he doesn’t want to undercut his authority on the company he built. The report adds that Musk prefers to gather the funds from a large investor pool, which, in turn, could be the key for the Saudi Kingdom’s Public Investment Fund to achieve its own goal of increasing its shares in the company.

All of this isn’t going to be easy for Tesla, especially if you take history into consideration. Past attempts to take Tesla private have failed because of the amount of money it’s going to take and the expected bureaucracies that’s going to come from investors who will be jostling with another to gain more influence in the affairs of the company.

It’s easy to see why the Saudi Kingdom’s Public Investment Fund is interested in raising its stake in the electric car maker. Tesla is on the upswing as a company, day-to-day shortcomings notwithstanding, and having a bigger stake in the company is seen as a way for the country to hedge its bets against oil by diversifying its resources for the future. But until Tesla lays out clear terms of engagement on its plans to turn the company private - that process itself is going to take a long time — any outside interest is going to remain just that.

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Source: Bloomberg

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