Elon Musk almost sold Tesla to Google in $6bn deal

Oh how things could have been different. Elon Musk came close to selling Tesla to Google in a deal worth $6 billion, a new report has revealed.

With Tesla on the verge of bankruptcy in March 2013 and the search giant known to be looking to bolster its standing in the automotive space, Bloomberg has detailed how Musk approached Google co-founder and friend Larry Page over a potential buyout.

According to the report this wasn’t just idle chitchat either. It has been suggested Musk and Page were just days away from putting pen to paper and had “accepted the overall proposal and shook on the deal”.

The takeover would have cost Google in the region of $6 billion (£4bn) plus a further $5 billion (£3.35bn) in factory expenses.

Citing ‘two people with direct knowledge of the deal’, Bloomberg has reported that Musk was looking at a way of saving the electric car specialist as dire sales meant the company was on the tipping point of going under.

It is claimed that as part of the proposed deal Musk would have been guaranteed control of Tesla for a further eight years, or until the company’s third electric car was on the market.

Alas, this never came to be, an upturn in fortunes meant Tesla was saved – without a takeover – and has gone on to become one of the world’s preeminent forces in electric cars.

Related: Driverless Cars: Everything you need to know

It is unclear exactly what Google would have wanted with Tesla, although the company’s foundations would have been sure to have bolstered the firm’s longstanding driverless car plans.

This is far from the first time Tesla has been the subject of a prospected buyout either. Last year it was suggested Apple was willing to drop a massive $75 billion on the car maker – it almost makes $6 billion sound like small change.

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