Report : SoftBank To Avoid Tesla Deal As It Focuses On Other Car Bets

( - Speculation about who may or may not finance Tesla Inc. ( TSLA ) chief Executive officer Elon Musk's audacious plan to take the carmaker private is distracting dealmakers from a normally quiet August spent in the Hamptons or Southern France.

SoftBank Group Corp., the Japanese conglomerate that has been touted as a potential source of capital for a buyout of the carmaker, isn't planning to participate in such a deal, Bloomberg reported citing people with knowledge of the matter. The company, which held talks with Musk in 2017 about a possible investment, isn't interested in revisiting such a plan.

The reason for SoftBank's lack of interest is, the report said, two-fold. The company has already placed its bets on the future of the automobile, plowing $2.25 billion into General Motors Co.'s autonomous vehicle unit Cruise in May, on top of investments it has already made in ridesharing companies DiDi Chuxing Inc., Uber Technologies Inc. and Singapore's Grab. It also reflects the fact that Tesla, once the clear leader in the electric-car market, is facing increasing competition and has yet to deliver on its mass production ambitions.

Earlier today, Bloomberg reported that the official sovereign wealth fund of the Saudi Arabian government may be considering a major investment in Elon Musk's electric car giant Tesla, and the report said it was "in talks" to do so after Musk let slip via Twitter that he is considering taking the company private.

Meanwhile, another report said Saudi Arabia'sPublic Investment Fund has shown no interest so far in financing Musk's proposed $72-billion deal to take the US electric car maker private, despite acquiring a minority stake in the company this year.

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