One of Tesla's largest investors just increased its stake

Key Points
  • Baillie Gifford is Tesla's second-largest institutional shareholder.
  • The U.K-based firm slightly increased its stake to 7.71 percent from 7.64 percent on Friday.
A Tesla Model 3 car is on display during the Auto China 2018 at China International Exhibition Center on April 25, 2018 in Beijing, China.
VCG/VCG | Getty Images

Tesla shareholder Baillie Gifford & Co. has just increased its stake in the electric car maker, according to a regulatory filing Friday.

The U.K.-based investment management firm, Tesla's second-largest institutional shareholder, bought 108,931 of the company's shares during the fourth quarter, according to the filing and data compiled by FactSet.

It now owns just over 13.2 million shares valued at roughly $4 billion. Its stake increased from 7.64 percent at the end of the third quarter to 7.71 percent as of Dec. 31.

Tesla's third-largest shareholder ready to pony up more capital

A partner at Baillie Gifford praised Tesla CEO Elon Musk in October, and said the firm "would be willing to back him" if Musk needed more capital.

Investors have kept a close eye on Tesla's cash position. The company has had to go to markets several times since its 2010 initial public offering to fund its ambitious plans to rapidly scale battery and auto production.

However Musk had said in recent months that he expects Tesla to be profitable and cash flow positive starting in the third quarter of 2018. So far, Tesla has hit that target, delivering two profitable quarters in a row for the first time in its history as a public company.

Neither Tesla nor Baillie Gifford were immediately available for comment.

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