A report earlier this week said Apple had considered acquiring electric car maker Tesla. Now Tesla CEO Elon Musk says while there have been talks with Apple, an acquisition is unlikely.
Tesla CEO Elon Musk today confirmed in an interview with Bloomberg Television that his company “had conversations” with Apple. Musk went on to say that he could not comment on whether the conversations had revolved around any kind of acquisition, but he did confirm that at the current time, an acquisition of Tesla seems “very unlikely.”
“If one or more companies had approached us last year about such things there’s no way we could really comment on that,” said Musk. “We had conversations with Apple, I can’t comment on whether those revolved around any kind of acquisition.”
Over the weekend, the San Francisco Chronicle reported Musk had met with Adrian Perica, Apple’s head of acquisitions, and possibly Apple CEO Tim Cook. While the Chronicle speculated the meeting may have been about a possible acquisition, others have speculated that the meeting may have been about iOS integration in the company’s electric vehicles, or even a battery deal.
Tesla announced last month that it had plans for a massive lithium-ion battery plant, which would be constructed as part of a partnership with “some other companies.” Apple uses lithium-ion batteries in many of its portable devices, so certainly, they could be part of such a venture.
Musk, when asked if Tesla was for sale, said an acquisition was unlikely, due to the company’s need to stay “super focused” on creating an affordable electric car. He did leave the door open a crack though, saying, “If there was a scenario where it seemed like it would be more likely that we would be able to create the mass market sort of affordable, compelling car then possibly it would make sense to entertain those discussions. I don’t currently see any scenario that would improve that probability, so that’s why I think it’s very unlikely.”
It should be noted that Apple currently holds approximately $160 billion in cash in its deep pockets, while Tesla has a market cap of around $24 billion, so Apple is easily capable of such a grab if it desired.