Tesla Inc. with a market value of $52.5 billion is a prime target for acquisition, and Apple Inc. might have Elon Musk's baby in its sights, claims a fund manager.
This speculation by Freddie Lait, chief investment officer at Latitude Investment Management, is old news given new life by the peculiar situations both firms find themselves in today. Apple is still committed to its goal of moving beyond the iPhone and other electronic devices while Tesla is again facing the same old problem -- too much ambition and too little cash.
Back in January 2018 when Tesla's market cap of $58 billion was higher than it is today, rumors swirled Tesla was a prime target for a takeover by Apple. Brian Sozzi, executive editor at TheStreet.com noted the smartphone market had matured while the tablet market continues to shrivel. This being the case, Apple should seize the opportunity to move beyond the iPhone to acquire either Tesla or Netflix.
Apple did neither, which bring us to a year later and another new rumor. This time, Lait says Tesla is a takeover target because its valuation has shrunk.
"It's quite possibly going to get bought out for that valuation because it represents what that is," said Lait, according to CNBC. "It's already got it's own operating system, it's got its own technology, it's got a great brand," he said.
Lait believes Tesla's technology could "potentially" be integrated into another player's product.
Cash-flush Apple has the money to go out and buy practically any company it wants. It's sitting on a $245 billion cash pile, which is again fueling speculation Apple might do a PacMan and eat-up any company it likes.
And, of course, Tesla is a good fit for Apple considering the latter's relentless push to get self-driving or autonomous cars to market over the next decade. Tesla CEO Elon Musk has long boasted the Enhanced Autopilot on his Tesla Model 3 all-electric sedan is the next best thing there is on the market today to true self-driving autonomy.
Apple has also been working on a competitor to Tesla's electric cars. It's an electric car project of its own named "Titan," which is apparently going nowhere since Apple fired more than 200 employees from the operation.
This article originally appeared in IBTimes US.