Tesla CEO plays down Apple acquisition talk

Motor company could still team up with Apple for its Giga Factory plant.

Tesla CEO Elon Musk has played down reports the electric car manufacturer is going to be acquired by Apple.

Musk confirmed talks between Tesla and Apple did take place in 2013, and initially declined to give details about discussions when speaking to Bloomberg TV. However, when pressed on the subject of an acquisition he said it was "very unlikely".

"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," he said.

"I think [a sale is] very unlikely because we need to stay super focused on creating a compelling mass market electric car and I'd be very concerned in any acquisition scenario, whoever it is, that we'd become distracted from that task which has always been the driving goal of Tesla."

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Last month, Musk announced plans for a massive lithium-ion battery plant known as the 'Giga Factory'. This facility will be constructed in partnership with other companies including Panasonic, which is Tesla's main battery supplier.

More information is expected in the coming weeks, and it is believed Apple could be involved in the venture.  

"We can pay for the Giga factory from retained earnings if we allow the time frame to extend beyond three years. If we want the factory to be done in three years we would probably need to raise some capital," Musk added.

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