Apple made informal bid to buy Tesla at $240 per share in 2013

Posted:
in AAPL Investors edited May 21
Apple's automotive ambitions could have been augmented with the acquisition of Tesla, an analyst claims, with the iPhone maker said to have made a "serious bid" to buy the electric car producer in 2013, a move that could have brought technology developed under "Project Titan" to commercialization far earlier.

Tesla Model X
Tesla Model X


Apple has seemingly harbored plans to produce its own brand of vehicle for some time, under the name "Project Titan," though speculation has hinted at the possibility of Apple using its massive resources to get a head start in the market by purchasing a car manufacturer instead of working entirely from scratch. According to a recent TV interview, it seems Apple tried to do just that.

Speaking on CNBC on Tuesday, Roth Capital Partners analyst Craig Irwin claimed Apple made a "serious bid" to purchase Tesla, around 2013, with the offer supposedly in the region of $240 per share. It is unclear how far along the alleged negotiations went, such as a "formal paperwork stage" that would signal an intent to purchase.

While there is only the word of Irwin that the bid was made, he insists "multiple checks" were made with multiple sources, and he has "complete confidence" that it is "credible." At this time there is barely any evidence or other claims that such a bid existed at all.

A profile of Apple's mergers and acquisitions chief Adrian Perica in February 2014 included references to a meeting between Tesla CEO Elon Musk and Apple CEO Tim Cook in Cupertino in 2013, at around the same time as a German analyst wrote an open letter to Cook suggesting an Apple purchase of Tesla. That report cited multiple sources about the supposed meeting, but again with little proof it actually took place.

If Apple is still interested in acquiring a manufacturer to make its own vehicle, the televised segment suggests Tesla could be a good target for such a purchase once more, as the price has dropped down far enough to make it an attractive target. At the time of publication, Tesla is hovering at around $205 per share, far below the $240 supposedly bid six years ago by Apple.





Tesla's share price has taken a beating over the last six months, and is currently close to half the $376.79 recorded for the stock on December 13. The pain could continue for the Elon Musk-led company for a while longer, as the note proposed a worst case scenario of Tesla's stock dropping to just $10.

Irwin's declaration about Apple continued with the claim "Project Titan" is still very much alive, including the continued development of advanced battery technology for use in future vehicles.

So far, Apple's public vehicular efforts have revolved around Lexus, with the manufacturer's cars used as a testbed for "Project Titan's" self driving systems. Volkswagen has also been linked to another effort dubbed PAIL, or Palo Alto to Infinite Loop, a project that uses modified T6 Transporter vans to shuttle employees between Apple offices.

Apple was also reportedly in sporadic talks with luxury automakers BMW and Mercedes-Benz since 2015, potentially to co-develop an all-electric self-driving vehicle. Discussions with both firms seemingly died out over intellectual property concerns, though other talks have also allegedly taken place with Nissan, China's BYD Auto, McLaren, and Magna Steyr.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 46
    Apple really should buy Tesla. 

    For two reasons: it would give Tesla the shot in the arm that they need to really buck the market with the financial clout that a giant such as Apple behind them would provide, and also, it would free Tesla of the increasingly unstable Musk whose antics only seem to be harming a company with decent products and design. 
    minicoffee
  • Reply 2 of 46
    mwebermweber Posts: 4member
    The total shares outstanding now are nearly 50% higher, so the equivalent bid today would be more like $160 (not counting for inflation.)
    red oakthtlarryjwJWSCAppleExposed
  • Reply 3 of 46
    saareksaarek Posts: 1,157member
    They might as well wait another year or so and then buy up the patents once they collapse.
    racerhomie3tmayStrangeDaystyler82applejakeslolliverpalomine
  • Reply 4 of 46
    racerhomie3racerhomie3 Posts: 1,169member
    Tesla should bleed & die. Then  should scoop up the talent. Tesla was intensely stupid trying to build up their own manufacturing plants. 
  • Reply 5 of 46
    Every time I see a Tesla, I think “this is the car Steve Jobs would have built.”
    dedgeckolkruppciaflyingdpLink648099lostkiwilolliverCarnage1st
  • Reply 6 of 46
    Tesla should bleed & die. Then  should scoop up the talent. Tesla was intensely stupid trying to build up their own manufacturing plants. 
    That would be horrible for the institutional knowledge of Tesla. Grabbing talent and putting them inside Apple doesn’t necessarily mean a good strategy not it gets Apple the assets inside Tesla. Having Tesla’s extensive research, their infrastructure and customer base would be a great start.
    elijahgdesignrJWSCCarnage
  • Reply 7 of 46
    larryjwlarryjw Posts: 426member
    Apple would not be buying a functioning company. It’s bleeding money, it’s leadership, in particular Musk, is several sandwiches short of a picnic. 


    chasm
  • Reply 8 of 46
    racerhomie3racerhomie3 Posts: 1,169member
    Tesla should bleed & die. Then  should scoop up the talent. Tesla was intensely stupid trying to build up their own manufacturing plants. 
    That would be horrible for the institutional knowledge of Tesla. Grabbing talent and putting them inside Apple doesn’t necessarily mean a good strategy not it gets Apple the assets inside Tesla. Having Tesla’s extensive research, their infrastructure and customer base would be a great start.
     has the most rich customer base in the world.  can outsource manufacturing to 3rd party companies like Foxconn & Pegatron.   can do the research all by itself.
    AppleExposed
  • Reply 9 of 46
    lkrupplkrupp Posts: 7,463member
    Tesla should bleed & die. Then  should scoop up the talent. Tesla was intensely stupid trying to build up their own manufacturing plants. 
    I test drove a Tesla Model 3 and a Chevy Bolt. Both are in relatively close price ranges. The Bolt is junk compared to the Model 3.
    ciaanantksundaramlostkiwilollivermuthuk_vanalingampalomine1st
  • Reply 10 of 46
    racerhomie3racerhomie3 Posts: 1,169member
    lkrupp said:
    Tesla should bleed & die. Then  should scoop up the talent. Tesla was intensely stupid trying to build up their own manufacturing plants. 
    I test drove a Tesla Model 3 and a Chevy Bolt. Both are in relatively close price ranges. The Bolt is junk compared to the Model 3.
    That doesn’t matter. Tesla isn’t making much money. It should die & let  assimilate it.
    AppleExposed
  • Reply 11 of 46
    A lot of ignorant posts here. Tesla is doing great. Actually fantastic. That you have a president that likes to make business unstable, as well as media talking down on Tesla every time they have the opportunity (remind you of a certain other company? Hint: It is often featured on this website) doesn't mean Tesla is bad, or that Elon is uncapable of running the company. If anything, Tesla is what it is today because of Elon Musk, much like Apple was Apple because of Steve Jobs. Right now, Tesla needs to get Gigafactory 3 up and running, so they can sell to the Chinese at competitive prices, and you'll see demand and supply explode. After that they have to get Model Y in production, as well as Gigafactory 4 in Europe. At the same time the Roadster and Semi will go in to production. Their recent Maxwell aquisition is also very interesting, and will make Tesla even more competitive (they already produce the best lithium batteries, at the cheapest prices on the market), as it will increase their production capacity and reduce costs, as well as it will open up for even more saving on the batterypack-level, as the Maxwell dry-batteries have a higher energy density than Tesla's already record high lithium-ion batteries.
    ctt_zhlkruppknowitallchemenginJWSCfastasleeplostkiwilolliverCarnageiqatedo
  • Reply 12 of 46
    That would be terrible. Tesla is a doomed brand no matter what happens. If electric cars take off, the current crop of auto manufacturers will produce then in mass and with their greater experience, ability to offset losses with the gas engine cars and manufacturing capacity blow Tesla out of the market for affordables. High end manufacturers will make high end luxury and blow them out there. 

    If electric cars become a passing fad Tesla fails. 

    So either way Tesla fails. 
    edited May 21
  • Reply 13 of 46
    That would be terrible. Tesla is a doomed brand no matter what happens. If electric cars take off, the current crop of auto manufacturers will produce then in mass and with their greater experience, ability to offset losses with the gas engine cars and manufacturing capacity blow Tesla out of the market for affordables. High end manufacturers will make high end luxury and blow them out there. 

    If electric cars become a passing fad Tesla fails. 

    So either way Tesla fails. 
    Ready to eat your hat in a few years? Tesla has been doomed to fail for several years by now. At this rate, it's the same as saying Sony or Apple will go bankrupt one day; eventually it'll come through.
    High-end manufacturers have just started to manufacture real EVs to compete with Tesla, and so far, Tesla is far superior in drivetrain technology, battery supply and IP belonging so batterychemistries, as well as having vertical integration in their battery supply, which today is as essential, as making your own engine as an ICE manufacturer once was. Drivetrain vehicle efficiency is also way better than most of its competitors, meaning, Tesla can make EVs that travel further on less energy, meaning they can put smaller/cheaper batterypacks in the vehicles, to match thos of its competitors, as well as having 8+ years of experience in EVs in general, knowing what to expect of service needs etc.
    VW is finally walking the walk, later this year (so actually still talking the talk), and will start production of their ID.3 later this year, with deliveries starting early next year. And although they have promised millions and millions, their initial production capacity will only match that of Hyundai or KIA, which produce some 30.000 units a year. Tesla makes 10-15 times more annualy...or approximately the same ONE month. And before you go and say that all the other manufacturers only have to switch over to simple EV production, and Tesla will be doomed (ok, you already stated this), then I can tell you, that battery supply isn't exactly exceeding demand right now, so there's a huge constraint right there, and it won't be solved within the next few months wither. Again, Tesla has a huge leg up over the established manufacturers there.
    chemenginJWSCfastasleeplostkiwilolliverCarnageiqatedo
  • Reply 14 of 46
    StrangeDaysStrangeDays Posts: 8,809member
    A lot of ignorant posts here. Tesla is doing great. Actually fantastic. 
    Please cite your metrics. 
  • Reply 15 of 46
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 31,504member
    Just wait 10 months and Apple can pick up Tesla engineers and IP for a song:

    https://www.extremetech.com/extreme/291618-elon-musk-tesla-out-of-money-in-10-months-without-hardcore-cost-reduction
  • Reply 16 of 46
    red oakred oak Posts: 679member
    A lot of ignorant posts here. Tesla is doing great. Actually fantastic. That you have a president that likes to make business unstable, as well as media talking down on Tesla every time they have the opportunity (remind you of a certain other company? Hint: It is often featured on this website) doesn't mean Tesla is bad, or that Elon is uncapable of running the company. If anything, Tesla is what it is today because of Elon Musk, much like Apple was Apple because of Steve Jobs. Right now, Tesla needs to get Gigafactory 3 up and running, so they can sell to the Chinese at competitive prices, and you'll see demand and supply explode. After that they have to get Model Y in production, as well as Gigafactory 4 in Europe. At the same time the Roadster and Semi will go in to production. Their recent Maxwell aquisition is also very interesting, and will make Tesla even more competitive (they already produce the best lithium batteries, at the cheapest prices on the market), as it will increase their production capacity and reduce costs, as well as it will open up for even more saving on the batterypack-level, as the Maxwell dry-batteries have a higher energy density than Tesla's already record high lithium-ion batteries.
    They don't have enough cash to make it through the next 10 months, nevermind launching in China, launching Model Y,  launching semi, launching roadster.   This company is DOA.  It is 15 years old, not some start-up.  It has burned through billions of $ of capital and not generating $1 of operating free cash flow.   It's bonds yields have shot through the roof.   Just wait until the Q2 results are announced.   Shit is really going to hit the fan. 

    Musk is a charlatan.  It was an awesome opportunity but he squandered it.  The window to make Tesla a success has been slammed shut.  The best exit at this point is to hope someone swoops to buy and puts a floor on the stock.   Hopefully it is not Apple - the unquantified liabilities (autopilot safety,  lack of in-market service/repairs,  product quality issues) could be bigger than any purchase price. 


    $TSLAQ 


    StrangeDays
  • Reply 17 of 46
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 31,504member
    red oak said:
    A lot of ignorant posts here. Tesla is doing great. Actually fantastic. That you have a president that likes to make business unstable, as well as media talking down on Tesla every time they have the opportunity (remind you of a certain other company? Hint: It is often featured on this website) doesn't mean Tesla is bad, or that Elon is uncapable of running the company. If anything, Tesla is what it is today because of Elon Musk, much like Apple was Apple because of Steve Jobs. Right now, Tesla needs to get Gigafactory 3 up and running, so they can sell to the Chinese at competitive prices, and you'll see demand and supply explode. After that they have to get Model Y in production, as well as Gigafactory 4 in Europe. At the same time the Roadster and Semi will go in to production. Their recent Maxwell aquisition is also very interesting, and will make Tesla even more competitive (they already produce the best lithium batteries, at the cheapest prices on the market), as it will increase their production capacity and reduce costs, as well as it will open up for even more saving on the batterypack-level, as the Maxwell dry-batteries have a higher energy density than Tesla's already record high lithium-ion batteries.
    They don't have enough cash to make it through the next 10 months, nevermind launching in China, launching Model Y,  launching semi, launching roadster.   This company is DOA.  It is 15 years old, not some start-up.  It has burned through billions of $ of capital and not generating $1 of operating free cash flow.   It's bonds yields have shot through the roof.   Just wait until the Q2 results are announced.   Shit is really going to hit the fan. 

    Musk is a charlatan.  It was an awesome opportunity but he squandered it.  The window to make Tesla a success has been slammed shut.  The best exit at this point is to hope someone swoops to buy and puts a floor on the stock.   Hopefully it is not Apple - the unquantified liabilities (autopilot safety,  lack of in-market service/repairs,  product quality issues) could be bigger than any purchase price. 


    $TSLAQ 


    Musk cannot focus. He’s an inventor and startup guy at heart, not a manager. The worst part is that he doesn’t respect budgets and sticking to them. He’d be smarter to sell Tesla off to anyone who will take them at this point.
    80s_Apple_Guy
  • Reply 18 of 46
    Although I would like to see Apple grab Tesla and keep it going for as long as possible, I'm sure Apple would jack up Tesla prices like they do with their own products. Apple is going absolutely overboard trying to squeeze maximum profits out of all of its products and I say this even as an Apple shareholder. Apple buying Tesla would limit sales to only the wealthiest consumers as Apple wouldn't keep the prices low enough to increase market share. I would like to see more electric vehicles for the masses. It would be prestigious for Apple to take over Tesla (minus Musk) but I'm not sure it would be financially worthwhile for Apple to buy Tesla. I believe the instant Apple bought Tesla, Tesla would quickly lose most of its future value. I believe any company Apple buys will immediately lose value based on the way Apple itself is being poorly valued.
    marsattack
  • Reply 19 of 46
    ciacia Posts: 86member
    Lots of people here saying Tesla is doomed, but of course the none of these commenters actually own one.

    I've had 2.   Had the S, sold it and bought an X.  Terrific cars, love 'em, and I could never go back to driving a gas car after owning one.   Haters gonna hate, but once you drive one, anything else just seems terrible.

    Don't pass judgement until you get behind the wheel of a Tesla and try it out, they are amazing.
    chemenginlostkiwimarsattackCarnage
  • Reply 20 of 46
    asdasdasdasd Posts: 5,330member
    Glad that didn't work out for them. Although buybacks and zero cash position is also dumb. 
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