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Scottish fund manager Baillie Gifford—one of Tesla’s largest shareholders with a 7.72-percent stake—is willing to back Elon Musk should he need additional capital, despite the many controversies surrounding the EV maker’s mercurial founder, Baillie Gifford partner Nick Thomas told The Times on Monday.
“If he needs more capital we would be willing to back him,” Thomas told The Times, describing Musk as an entrepreneur of “vision and ambition, who’s working towards a social good.”
Musk is Tesla’s biggest single shareholder with stake of around 20 percent, while Baillie Gifford is one of the top external shareholders—according to Reuters data, Baillie Gifford is the third-largest shareholder after Musk and after T. Rowe Price Associates.
If Musk manages to upend the global automotive industry with his vision, Tesla would be worth much more than its current market value of around US$57 billion, Thomas told The Times.
The comments of one of the largest shareholders come days after Tesla surprised Wall Street and analysts last week with a rare quarterly profit in the third quarter, which the company described as “a truly historic quarter for Tesla,” but which also brought a lot of controversy surrounding its founder and CEO Musk, who tweeted in early August that he was taking Tesla private with “funding secured”.
The tweet secured Musk an investigation from the SEC, which later charged Tesla’s CEO with securities fraud. Musk and the SEC quickly settled the charge days after the commission charged him, with Musk and Tesla each agreeing to pay a penalty of US$20 million, Musk stepping down as Tesla chairman to make room for an independent director, and Tesla’s board agreeing to adopt “important reforms —including an obligation to oversee Musk’s communications with investors.”
“Worth it,” Musk said on Friday, replying to a Twitter follower asking about the tweet that cost Tesla’s CEO a US$20 million penalty.
By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com
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Tsvetana is a writer for Oilprice.com with over a decade of experience writing for news outlets such as iNVEZZ and SeeNews.