Supplement, Wheelers

Apple wanted to buy Tesla in 2013

Published : 02 Jun 2019 04:31 PM | Updated : 05 Sep 2020 12:43 PM

Craig Irwin, an analyst at Roth Capital Partners, has told CNBC his company believes Apple made a bid of US$240 per share for Tesla back in 2013.

Through multiple sources Irwin has "complete confidence" Apple made a "serious bid", but he isn't sure if the interest went as far as formal paperwork.

According Irwin the talks broke down over Apple's insistence Elon Musk step down from the helm.

Irwin's comments back up a 2014 report in the San Francisco Chronicle stating Elon Musk, Tesla's CEO, met with Apple's head of accusations and possibly Tim Cook, Apple's CEO, as well.

Due to poor delivery figures in the first quarter, a plunge back into the red, and a warning from Musk the company might have as little as 10 months of cash given its current burn rate, Tesla's stock price, at the time of writing, is around US$193 ($279).

That's a far cry from its peak last year of US$365 ($528) around the time Musk tweeted, falsely, that "funding (was) secured" to take the automaker private at US$420 ($608) per share.

At its current price, Tesla has a market capitalisation of roughly US$36 billion ($52 billion).

The tech giant is sitting on a cash reserve of around US$250 billion ($362 billion) thanks, primarily, to its iPhone range and its unwillingness to repatriate money from Ireland and other low tax countries.

Neither company has commented on this latest report, and it's not known if Apple remains interested in purchasing Tesla. Apple's largest acquisition was its US$3 billion ($4.3 billion) purchase of Beats in 2014.

Apple is known to be still investing money in Project Titan, but has scaled down its scope to focus primarily on self-driving car technology rather than engineering a complete vehicle.