Norway's Wealth Fund Issues Savage Burn On Tesla
Save for some uplifting production news, Tesla Motors is still fighting an uphill battle. CEO Elon Musk’s earlier claim that the company would go private has gotten him into trouble with the Securities Exchange Commission — since it looks as if the automaker hasn’t procured the necessary funding to make that happen.
However it doesn’t appear as if Norway’s sovereign wealth fund will be the outlet to pick up that tab. Trond Grande, deputy CEO of the Norwegian fund, declined to say whether Tesla had approached the fund about going private. “We don’t have a view on that,” he said before adding “We want to be invested in companies that make money.”
That savage burn, reported by Bloomberg, sounds pretty definitive. If Tesla hasn’t approached Norway already, it certainly isn’t going to now.
Norway is Tesla’s third-biggest market and the country’s wealth fund is the world’s largest. It currently holds a 0.48 percent stake in the automaker worth about $253 million. Assuming Tesla goes private, the fund is likely to sell off its shares as standard protocol. But it’s legally allowed to stay invested if it wants.
“The priority is to try to preserve the value for the fund. That is the priority,” Grande said. “If that means that the fund will be invested in a company that has been delisted for a period of time, that could happen … But as a main rule, we will exit the investments as and when, or soon after, it has been taken off an exchange.”
In March the fund voted against Musk’s potential $2.6 billion payout. It also backed an initiative to have Musk removed as chairman in June, and supported one would have allowed investors to nominate their own directors.
That’s likely of little consequence to Elon at the moment, though. The SEC appears to have opened an inquiry related to Musk’s tweets about privatization and that’s likely weighing heavier on his mind right now. The company’s stock has also taken a serious hit.
Felix Hoenikker on Aug 23, 2018
Yes, Elon is a nut case, but the product is real. I had lunch with an ex coworker two weeks ago. As we were leaving he showed me his new car - a white Tesla Model 3. Naturally we went for a spin up and down US 1 near Woodbridge, NJ. The performance of the 3 blew my socks off. I am a big fan of quiet power, and this thing is almost silent, and really fast especially from a stop. I never expected this kind of acceleration from a BEV passenger car. Now long term durability is another issue. Too early to tell, but out of the box the 3 is quite impressive to drive. At $50K it's a little pricey for my tastes for a commuter car, but I could see $35K when production catches up with demand or battery prices keep dropping.
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