In March of 2013, Tesla was in a dire situation: the company was nearly bankrupt, its electric vehicles failing to connect with buyers. But according to a new report from Bloomberg today, Elon Musk had a contingency plan: cash out with Google.
Musk wanted eight more years with the company
As Tesla was on the downward slope, Elon Musk turned to his friend Larry Page, suggesting Google buy the company, plus $5 billion in factory expenses. It's unclear what the exact offer was, but as Bloomberg points out, Tesla was worth $6 billion at the time. Musk also reportedly asked Page to guarantee him either another eight years running the company, or enough time to produce a third-generation, mainstream electric car.
The talks, according to Bloomberg, were far along. Page reportedly "accepted the overall proposal and shook on the deal." Lawyers spent the next few weeks hammering out details, but it never quite closed.
As we know, the deal never went anywhere. Tesla turned around from the edge of bankruptcy. The company ended up posting a profit in the next few weeks, and even paid back its debts to the Department of Energy. Musk reportedly broke off the deal with Google soon after.
Apple was also rumored to be interested in buying Tesla last year, a deal with a very different tenor than the reported Google buyout. With the news that Apple is working on a car, that speculation has intensified, with investors suggesting Apple would have to pay $75 billion for the car maker.