Monday 23 October 2017

China's Tencent takes 5pc of Tesla

Elon Musk, founder of Tesla, remains the firm’s top shareholder with a 21pc stake
Elon Musk, founder of Tesla, remains the firm’s top shareholder with a 21pc stake

Rishika Sadam

Electric car maker Tesla has sold a 5pc stake in the business to Chinese tech giant Tencent for a $1.78bn (€1.63bn) investment.

Tencent, best known for its WeChat mobile app, has been investing in a number of sectors, including gaming, entertainment, cloud computing and online lending.

Tencent now owns more than eight million shares in Tesla as of March 24, the carmaker said, making the Chinese company one of its biggest shareholders.

Tesla has been raising capital to fund the launch of its mass-market Model 3 car.

The company raised about $1.2bn (€1.1bn) by selling common shares and convertible debt earlier this month.

Company founder Elon Musk remains Tesla's top shareholder, with a stake of about 21pc as of the end of last year. Tesla's shares were up 1.7pc at $274.76 (€253) in premarket trading on Tuesday.

Last week Tesla said it will start taking orders for its solar roof tiles in April.

The solar-powered roof shingles were unveiled in October last year to show the benefits of combining the electric car maker with solar installer SolarCity.

Tesla has said previously that the cost of the roof would be less than a conventional roof plus solar.

By incorporating solar modules into rooftops, Tesla is hoping to succeed with a solar technology that to date has had little success. Mr Musk's bold approach to cars, space exploration and clean energy has fuelled investor enthusiasm for Tesla, but sceptics are waiting to see if Mr Musk can fulfil his promise of producing 500,000 cars per year by 2018. (Reuters)

Irish Independent

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