The Elephant in the Room for Tesla Selling: Daimler

Tesla Model A Alpha Electronics Version

The blogosphere widely picked up Bloomberg’s story that electric car maker Tesla (s TSLA) isn’t necessarily looking to sell itself right now and wants to remain an independent company. If you think about it, why would Tesla CEO Elon Musk actively try to sell Tesla now after working so hard to get to the point where Tesla is at currently, surviving a low period of little funding a year ago? But the real elephant in the room, when it comes to Tesla selling itself, is: Tesla’s automaker and investor Daimler.
We’ve mentioned this in previous filings, and Tesla also states this in the latest filing associated with its second offering and private placement, and Tesla writes:

Our financing agreements with Blackstar, an affiliate of Daimler, include certain restrictions that decrease the likelihood that potential acquirers would make a bid to acquire us, including giving Blackstar a right of notice on any acquisition proposal we receive for which we determine to engage in further discussions with a potential acquirer or otherwise pursue. Blackstar then has a right, within a specified time period, to submit a competing acquisition proposal.

So, basically if a company really wanted to buy Tesla, it would have to step over Daimler to do so. Daimler is no small company. Maybe an automaker acquirer wants to do that, or maybe it doesn’t.