With everyone desperate to discover just who is funding this debacle of an LBO/MBO, Bloomberg is reporting that Musk and Masayoshi Son held talks last year about SoftBank investing in Tesla, including potentially taking the electric carmaker private - but talks broke down over disagreements on control.
Son and Musk met in April 2017 to discuss an investment in Tesla, the people said.
The talks touched on taking Tesla private, but failed to progress due to disagreements over ownership. Musk proposed a structure that would have given him disproportionate control over the company through stock with super-voting rights, one person said.
There are no active talks between the companies now, said the people, who asked not to be identified discussing private deliberations.
There was more bad news: the FT adds that "people close to SoftBank tell the FT that the fund considers Tesla to be overvalued and there are no indications it wants to invest."
And then there is the new trade war world to consider:
Even if it did want to add Tesla to its stable, SoftBank may face an obstacle in the form of the Committee on Foreign Investment in the US (Cfius), given its close links to China and record of previous hold-ups on other deals.
Investors are unsure whether to be excited (Softbank 'were' interested) or troubled (talks are over).
Perhaps more worryingly for Tesla shareholders, The FT reports that Softback is said to see Tesla as overvalued.
And so, the hunt for the mystery "funding source" of Musk's buyout continues...
"Most of the obvious funding sources for Tesla’s take-private transaction are foreign-based," Toni Sacconaghi, an analyst at Sanford C. Bernstein & Co., wrote in a note. "We imagine the Committee on Foreign Investment in the U.S. would likely object to any foreign investor buying a significant portion of a distinctively American manufacturer such as Tesla"
And for now, TSLA bonds ain't buying it...