Sunday, 21 October, 2018

Saudi Wealth Fund to Invest $1 Billion in Tesla's Rival Lucid

Source Lucid Source Lucid
Priscilla Morrison | 18 September, 2018, 04:40

Saudi Arabia on Monday announced it has signed off on a US$1 billion investment in U.S. carmaker Lucid Motors with the aim of helping the Tesla rival roll out electric cars.

The Saudi Public Investment Fund said it would invest $1 billion in Newark, California-based Lucid Motors. Musk indicated that Saudi Arabia would invest in Tesla if it went private, although the PIF did not comment on the possibility.

The deal will provide funding to enable the commercial launch of Lucid's first electric vehicle, the Lucid Air, in 2020.

The funding, which will be made through a special-purpose vehicle wholly owned by PIF, will be used by Lucid to complete development and testing of the Lucid Air, construct a factory in Arizona and start up production of the auto. "Our investment in Lucid is a strong example of these objectives". "At Lucid, we will demonstrate the full potential of the electric connected vehicle in order to push the industry forward".

The Lucid Air is very much a luxury vehicle in the mould of Tesla
The Lucid Air is very much a luxury vehicle in the mould of Tesla

The deal between PIF and Lucid adds to the uncertainty surrounding Tesla, whose Chief Executive Officer Elon Musk tweeted on August 7 that he'd secured funding to take the firm private. Shares were up around 1% later on Monday after the initial stock dip on word of the Saudi investment in Lucid.

A PIF spokesperson declined to say whether it had invested in Tesla. On Aug. 24, Musk announced the carmaker would remain public. Musk has since scrapped the take-private plan. The spokesperson added the investment should increase revenues for the fund while also diversifying its portfolio.

Earlier on Monday, PIF said it had raised an $11 billion worldwide syndicated loan for general corporate purposes. The Saudi fund had previously built up a stake of just under 5 per cent in Tesla.

Saudi Arabia's 33-year-old Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman has talked about using the country's PIF to help diversify the economy of the kingdom, which relies nearly entirely on money made from its oil sales.

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