A Tesla merger? CEO Elon Musk would sit down with the right company

Musk says he would be OK with a friendly merger deal -- a shock twist from just a few years ago.

Sean Szymkowski
It all started with Gran Turismo. From those early PlayStation days, Sean was drawn to anything with four wheels. Prior to joining the Roadshow team, he was a freelance contributor for Motor Authority, The Car Connection and Green Car Reports. As for what's in the garage, Sean owns a 2016 Chevrolet SS, and yes, it has Holden badges.
Sean Szymkowski
2 min read
Tesla CEO Elon Musk
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Tesla CEO Elon Musk

A friendly merger? Maybe, says Musk.

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Tesla CEO Elon Musk let it be known that he would absolutely entertain merging Tesla with another company, which is a major change from the executive's mindset from just a few years ago. On Tuesday, Reuters reported on comments made by Musk during an Axel Springer event in Berlin, where he said if someone thought it'd be a "good idea" to merge with Tesla, "we would have this conversation."

Clearly there aren't any credible companies lined up that Musk is ready to entertain. The outspoken CEO would likely have given away far more if that was the case. But the fact he's willing to even speak about the idea marks a massive shift from 2017 Musk. Then, as news broke about the level of Apple's cash on hand, analysts floated the idea of the technology firm purchasing Tesla. When Morgan Stanley brought the idea to Musk himself, he laughed the suggestion off. Dismissing the idea and then three years later opening the door is a significant change.

Musk did dismiss another idea, though. He said a hostile takeover of another company is not in the cards, just as Tesla's market value shoots over $500 billion. A friendly deal? That's a different story.

His comments also follow a leaked email Tuesday in which Musk reportedly called on Tesla to focus on real profits. Although the automaker squeezed out a profit for five quarters in a row, the black figures largely come by way of regulatory credits. The CEO pegged Tesla's actual profitability around 1%. Tesla doesn't operate a public relations department to field requests for comment.

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