For years, analysts have maintained that Apple needs to move past the iPhone and look for additional revenue streams. Consequently, many analysts over the years have proposed that Apple would be well advised to make a blockbuster acquisition and snatch up a company like Netflix or Tesla.
Interestingly enough, it turns out that Apple actually did make an effort to acquire Tesla six years ago at a valuation of $240 a share. Incidentally, Tesla’s share price has been reeling lately and is currently hovering in the $200 range. Word of Apple’s efforts to acquire Tesla was brought to light by analyst Craig Irwin of Roth Capital Partners who revealed the interesting tidbit on CNBC (via Electrek) earlier today.
“Around 2013, there was a serious bid from Apple at around $240 a share,” Irwin said.
“This is something we did multiple checks on,” Irwin added. “I have complete confidence that this is accurate. Apple bid for Tesla. I don’t know if it got to a formal paperwork stage, but I know from multiple different sources that this was very credible.”
Notably, there have been rumblings over the years regarding Apple’s interest in Tesla, but this is the first time we’ve seen a report that Apple was legitimately trying to make a serious play for the electric automaker.
You might also recall reports from a few years back which revealed that Elon Musk, sometime in mid-2013 — sat down for a meeting with Apple’s mergers and acquisitions chief Adrian Perica and, rumor has it, Tim Cook himself.
Apple, of course, has been busy working on its own car initiative — known as Project Titan — for the past few years, though it remains to be seen if anything concrete ever manifests from its efforts. Early reports hinted that Apple was set on designing and building its own car, though a plethora of technical challenges ultimately resulted in a few rounds of layoffs and employees being shifted over to other projects. Last we heard, Apple’s Project Titan is still ongoing but is now focused on autonomous systems as opposed to designing a car from the ground up.
Interestingly, and somewhat uncharacteristically, Tim Cook confirmed this during an interview a few years ago. “We’re focusing on autonomous systems,” Cook said in 2017. “It’s a core technology that we view as very important.”
Lastly, with Morgan Stanley recently noting that Tesla shares may sink to $10/share in a worst-case scenario, it will be interesting to see if Apple might swoop in and pick up the company at a huge discount.