Large Tesla Shareholder Willing to Pour More Cash Into the Electric Car Company

Tesla Inc.'s (TSLA) third-largest shareholder said it would be happy to invest more cash into the company, on top of its already large stake. 

"If he {Elon Musk} needs more capital we would be willing to back him," said Nick Thomas, partner and portfolio manager at Baillie Gifford, a Scotland-based  asset manager with about 200 billion euros under management. Baillie Gifford holds about 7.72% of Tesla stock, a sizable position in a company that just turned a quarterly profit for the first time in several years. 

Tesla shares rallied Monday more than 4% to $344, not far from a key threshold of $360 that would allow holders of Tesla bonds that mature in 2019 to convert their holdings into stock, freeing Tesla of the obligation to pay back the debt. That would have huge credit implications for the company which, until its latest quarter, was being questioned about its ability to raise cash. Wiping $900 million, the principal currently due to bondholders in March, of liabilities would be a huge boost for the electric vehicle maker. Tesla has long been valued by stock investors on its ability to raise money, a method that could change if its latest quarterly profit proves sustainable. Still, if shareholders are willing to accept equity dilution, an equity raise could be in the cards. 

Tesla last week posted quarterly earnings of $1.75 a share after analysts had predicted a loss of 3 cents. Adjusted net income was $516 million, a swing from a year-earlier adjusted loss of $520 million.

Tesla shares have risen almost 8% this year. 

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