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The world’s biggest sovereign wealth fund, Norway’s US$1-trillion Government Pension Fund Global, can remain a shareholder in Tesla under the fund’s governing rules if the EV maker becomes private, the Norwegian fund’s deputy CEO Trond Grande told Reuters on Tuesday.
The biggest wealth fund in the world—which holds 1.4 percent of all listed companies worldwide—owned 0.48 percent in Tesla at the end of 2017, valued at US$253 million.
Generally, the fund’s practice would be to divest its stake in a company that is being delisted, or shortly after, Grande told Reuters, but noted that the rules governing the fund’s investment choices allow it to continue to be a shareholder in a listed firm that goes private.
Earlier this month, Elon Musk shocked Wall Street and investors by tweeting that he would take Tesla private at $420 a share, sparking a lot of speculation whether the funding for doing so is really ‘secured’ as he said in his tweet, and who is stepping in to raise the funding.
A week later, Musk revealed that he had been in talks with the Saudi Arabian sovereign wealth fund about taking Tesla private for a few years now. Musk’s plans for Tesla are reportedly being scrutinized by the SEC, especially in the ‘funding secured’ part of his shock announcement on Twitter.
The fact that Musk revealed he had been talking to the Saudi fund, which has amassed its wealth from oil, prompted questions directed at the Norwegian wealth fund, also known as the ‘oil fund’ in Norway, whether it could be part of the taking-Tesla-private deal. Asked by Reuters, the Norwegian fund’s deputy CEO Grande declined to say on Tuesday if the EV maker had approached it about that. The manager noted that the fund’s main priority is preserving value.
“If that means that the fund will be invested in a company that has been delisted for a period of time, that could happen,” Grande told Reuters.
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.