Saudi Arabia’s PIF is not interested in bankrolling Tesla buyout

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Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund (PIF) has shown no interest so far in funding Tesla Inc CEO Elon Musk’s proposed $72 billion deal to take the U.S. electric automaker private, despite acquiring a small stake in the company this year, two sources knowledgeable with the matter stated.

The 47-year-old investor and engineer stunned financial markets this week after he said on Twitter that he was thinking about a take-private deal for Tesla, an auto manufacturing pioneer that developed the first luxury all-electric sedan car of the world. He also stated he had secured funding for the proposal, without giving further information.

Investors and experts viewed PIF as a natural financing partner. Beyond amassing a stake of just below 5 percent in Tesla, the sovereign wealth fund has poured tens of billions of dollars into technology investments, consisting of $45 billion in SoftBank Group’s Vision Fund during five years.

However, a source who is knowledgeable about PIF’s strategy stated it was not currently getting involved in any funding process for Tesla’s take-private deal.

A second source near to the situation also stated PIF was not involving itself in any such plan at this stage. This source stated that the Saudi fund would not consider an investment of this kind without taking guidance first from Softbank.

Reuters on Wednesday noted that SoftBank was not presently pursuing a deal for Tesla because of its investment previously this year in rival GM Cruise.

PIF’s reluctance will contribute to the pressure on Musk to produce information of his financing plan.

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