Volkswagen may have offered to come to Elon Musk's rescue but the Tesla CEO turned down funding from the German automaker and others to take his company private, according to a report from The Wall Street Journal on Monday.
Elon Musk started a circus Aug. 7 when he tweeted about taking Tesla private at $420 per share, and that funding for the move was secure. Musk said later that "funding secure" referred to negotiations with the sovereign wealth fund of Saudi Arabia to take the company private, although no formal offer had been made and both sides may have been dubious about a deal, according to the Journal.
The report says officials from Saudi Arabia were divided on investing more in Tesla—the group recently acquired 5 percent of the automaker's public shares—with Musk at the helm, and that Musk may have been skeptical of the public perception of an electric car company partially owned by an oil state.
A special committee for Tesla went looking for other money.
A group of deep-pocketed investors including Volkswagen AG and Silver Lake, a private-equity firm that was brought in with Goldman Sachs Group Inc. to facilitate the deal, stepped in and could contribute up to $30 billion to go private, sources familiar with the deal told the Journal.
Musk eventually balked at the proposal, which would have required relinquishing some control in the company, according to the Journal. Musk was wary of other automakers and believed they wanted a share of what he called the "Tesla halo."
By Thursday, Musk had expressed doubt in the deal before meeting with the board to review potential proposals to go private.
Last Friday, Musk announced via a blog post on the automaker's website that Tesla will remain a publicly traded company.
Tesla and Musk are in hot water with the Securities and Exchange Commission after his Aug. 7 tweet. The tweet was posted before any board statement or regulatory filings.
Volkswagen wouldn't have been the first large automaker to hold a stake in Tesla. In the Silicon Valley automaker's early years, both Toyota and Daimler invested in Tesla.