A Tesla automobile on the showroom floor Joe Raedle, Getty Images

Google Considered Tesla Purchase In 2013

According to an excerpt of a new book to be published in May, Google considered purchasing Tesla for $6 billion -- with an additional commitment of $5 billion in factory expansion -- after Elon Musk proposed the idea in 2013.

Technology billionaire Elon Musk pursued a sale of struggling electric-car company Tesla to Google in 2013, according to a book excerpt published Monday by Bloomberg News.

Beset by technical problems on its flagship Model S, Tesla in early 2013 was on the verge of bankruptcy, Bloomberg reporter Ashlee Vance said in an excerpt of his biography "Elon Musk: Tesla, SpaceX and the Quest for a Fantastic Future," which will be published May 19.

In March 2013, Musk contacted Google co-founder Larry Page, according to the excerpt, which cited two people close to the situation. 

Musk proposed that Google buy Tesla for $6 billion and promise an additional $5 billion in factory expansions. Musk also demanded that he be permitted to run Tesla as a unit of Google for eight years, or until Tesla produced a third-generation car, the excerpt said.

Page declined to comment on the matter, but told Vance that a "car company is pretty far from what Google knows." 

But Page, Vance reported, "accepted the overall proposal" and the two sides began negotiating specific points.

Tesla's fortunes changed suddenly in May 2013 when the company reported its first profit after an intense drive overseen by Musk to address technical glitches yielded a sudden jump in Model S orders.

The surprisingly good earnings sent Tesla shares rocketing higher and ended the Google negotiations. Musk "no longer needed a savior," Vance wrote.

Last year, Tesla was at the center of rumors that Apple was considering an acquisition of the company.  

Google has pursued technology for a self-driving car. Earlier this year, the company pumped $1 billion into SpaceX, Musk's private space-travel technology venture, along with investment giant Fidelity.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2015

TAGS: The Economy
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