Volkswagen reportedly intended to invest 30 billion dollars in Tesla together with other investors including Silver Lake. This venture was blocked by Musk, however, as this would have provided VW with too much influence over the EV brand.
A possibility behind Musk’s sudden change of heart regarding privatization may be related to an attempt by Volkswagen to purchase the company out from under him. At least, that is what the Wall Street Journal has learned from unnamed insiders. Due to his desire to remain in absolute control of his company, Musk then backpedaled regarding the private investment scheme.
Currently Elon Musk is working hard to dispel the impression that his recent financing tweets were simply a bluff: The US SEC is currently investigating whether he attempted market manipulation, as the funding he boasted about in his Tweet was apparently not as secured as he claimed. Several Tesla investors are also preparing cases against him.
In early August, Musk tweeted that he had secured financing to buy the company out from the stock market, making them more independent. It quickly became clear that many of Tesla’s investors would not have been able to follow, as internal investment regulation would have tied quite a few hands. This would have resulted in a serious gap in the funding, which then prompted bankers and advisors to point towards Silver Lake and Volkswagen to cover the need. Tesla has not commented on the reports, so far.