Tesla shares rise on report Saudi Arabia sovereign wealth fund has $2 billion stake

  • Saudi Arabia's sovereign wealth fund has acquired a significant position in Tesla shares, according to the Financial Times.
  • The media outlet says the Saudi's Public Investment Fund bought a 3 percent to 5 percent stake in the electric car maker, according to people with direct knowledge of the matter.
  • The stake is worth $1.9 billion to $3.2 billion at the company's current share price.

Saudi Arabia's sovereign wealth fund has acquired a significant position in Tesla shares, according to the Financial Times.

The media outlet said the Saudi's Public Investment Fund bought a 3 percent to 5 percent stake in the electric car maker, according to people with direct knowledge of the matter.

The stake is worth $1.9 billion to $3.2 billion at the company's current share price.

The Saudi fund approached CEO Elon Musk about buying newly issued shares, the report said, but Tesla declined. Instead the Public Investment Fund bought the shares in secondary markets.

Reuters later confirmed the Saudi fund bought a stake "at just below 5 percent" of the company, according to a source familiar with the matter.

Tesla shares later jumped further after a tweet from Musk's verified Twitter account, which mentioned taking the company private.

The company's short sellers lost about $1.3 billion in mark-to-market losses Tuesday, according to estimates from S3's head of predictive analytics Ihor Dusaniwsky.

Musk said on Tesla's second-quarter earnings call the company has no plans to raise capital.

"We will not be raising any equity at any point," he said. "We certainly could raise money, but I think we don't need to and we — yeah, I think, it's better to — it is better discipline not to."

One analyst took solace in Tesla's statement on the call that the company does not plan or need to raise more capital.

"Tesla reiterated earnings and positive cash flow guidance, and the company has no plans to raise equity capital," Nomura Instinet analyst Romit Shah said in a note to clients. "A major step function up in Q3 revenue will strongly counter the popular narrative around bankruptcy risk, thus reducing an estimated $12 billion in short interest and driving shares higher."

The stock was halted at $367.25 per share shortly after 2 p.m.

Musk later explained in an email to company employees why he is considering taking Tesla private, but also said "a final decision has not yet been made." The email was published on Tesla's corporate blog.

Telsa shares resumed trading at 3:45pm and closed up 11 percent Tuesday.

The company declined to comment.

See here for the full FT report.