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Could Volkswagen have helped Tesla go private?

by Ronan Glon

Elon Musk worried about losing control of the ship.

Details surrounding Tesla's aborted plan to go private are beginning to emerge. Sources familiar with the now-canceled deal suggest that, in an unexpected but not entirely surprising twist of fate, Volkswagen would have provided a sizable chunk of the money needed to remove the firm from the stock market.

The banks Tesla co-founder and CEO Elon Musk hired to take the firm private allegedly found the funding to go through with the deal. Volkswagen was one of the companies who pledged up to $30 billion to take Tesla off the stock market, insiders told the , but Musk hoped to attract smaller investors.

Volkswagen's involvement is part of what convinced Musk and Tesla's board of directors to call off the deal, according to the same insiders. Musk worried about losing control of the ship; Volkswagen could have ended up with a big enough stake to call some of the shots at the California-based firm, which made Musk suspicious of the Germans' intent.

Other investors -- like Silver Lake, one of the bank hired to pull off a deal -- could have also ended up in a similar situation. Interestingly, the Journal adds the leaders of Saudi Arabia's sovereign wealth fund hadn't made up their mind about whether or not to participate in the take-private process and never made a formal proposal.

Musk announced Tesla will remain public on Friday, August 24th. Instead of going private, the company will double down on its efforts to reliably ramp up Model 3 production.

Volkswagen and Tesla haven't commented on the report.

Photo by Ronan Glon.

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