Tesla CEO Elon Musk confirms talks with Apple, but says sale unlikely

elon musk tesla

Elon Musk, CEO of Tesla Motors, in an interview Bloomberg today confirmed speculation that his Palo Alto-based electric car company has held talks with Apple. He wouldn’t comment on what the conversations revolved around, but noted that an acquisition was “very unlikely.”

Musk’s comments follow a report by The San Francisco Chronicle earlier this week that suggested the two were in buyout discussions. The paper claimed that the meeting took place in Cupertino between Musk, Tim Cook and Apple’s chief of mergers and acquisitions Adrian Perica…

Here’s a video of the interview (sorry, it’s in Flash) from Bloomberg Television:

And here’s the first of Musk’s more interesting comments:

“If one or more companies had approached us last year about such things there’s no way we could really comment on that. We had conversations with Apple. I can’t comment on whether those revolved around any kind of acquisition.”

Following The Chronicle’s report, some pundits suggested that Apple may have had other motives for meeting with Tesla. It’s possible they were discussing Tesla’s new battery plant, or a potential partnership there, or simply talking about future iOS device integration in their vehicles.

One thing for sure is that Elon is committed to Tesla’s goal:

“If there was a scenario where it seemed like it would be more likely that we would be able to create the mass market sort of affordable, compelling electric car then possibly it would make sense to entertain those discussions. I don’t currently see any scenario that would improve that probability, so that’s why I think it’s very unlikely.”

Apple hasn’t commented on the Tesla buyout rumors yet (and likely won’t), but CEO Tim Cook has said that he is not against making larger acquisitions. In his own interview earlier this month, Cook said that Apple has “no problem spending 10 figures for the right company.”