Having paid off its federal loan, Tesla Motors could technically put it up for sale, according to a report in Bloomberg. The electric car company might seem a good fit for a deep-pocketed tech giant like Google, but Tesla chief executive Elon Musk has suggested he has no intention of selling the company.
Bloomberg has made a rather interesting discovery about the loan deal that Tesla has just bought its way out of. As part of the agreement that Tesla Motors made with the US department of Energy (DoE), Tesla could not be sold as long as it still owed money to the DoE.
That news adds a whole new dimension to the fact that Tesla has just paid off its DoE loan, nine years early, as now they are no longer bound by the terms of the agreement and can put itself on the market.
Any prospective buyer would have to be technically focussed, and have very deep pockets. Tesla is the most expensive car manufacturer, trading at 816-times its 2013 earnings, and giving it a value of more than $5 billion. That is a lot of money to pay for a company that is only 10 years old, and has just reported its first profit ever. (Related article: Emerging Green Technologies to Invest in)
Bloomberg suggests that Google, may be the right fit. Google is highly interested in renewable energy and cleantech, loving to invest in companies where it can use it technical expertise; it also has one of the largest wallets out there.
But maybe Google will have to wait. In an interview last month CEO Elon Musk said “I’ve said from the very beginning, from the creation of Tesla, that our goal is to create a compelling mass-market car. I would not consider stepping away from Tesla until we’re there…. We’re several years away obviously.”
Over the next few years Tesla plans to release the Model X, an electric SUV, as well as a smaller, cheaper version of the Model S.