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Apple bid to buy Tesla in 2013 for $240 a share, analyst says

GP: Elon Musk, CEO of Tesla Inc., speaks during an event on the site of the company's manufacturing facilities in Shanghai, China, on Monday, January 7, 2019.

Qilai Shen | Bloomberg | false images

Craig Irwin, an analyst at Roth Capital Partners, told CNBC on Tuesday that the electric car company could have sold Apple six years ago at a significantly higher price per share.

"Around 2013, there was a serious offer from Apple of around $ 240 per share," Irwin said in an interview on CNBC's Squawk Box. "This is something we did several checks on, I have full confidence that this is correct, Apple made an offer for Tesla, I do not know if it came to a formal documentation stage, but I know from several different sources that this was very credible." . . "

Apple and Tesla did not respond to requests for comment.

Tesla has fallen more than 38% in 2019, at a price per share of $ 197.76 at the start of operations on Tuesday. The stock has fallen 46% from its highest level in August, when CEO Elon Musk said he had "insured funds" to make the company public at $ 420 per share.

Knowing that there was a "very credible" offer on the table in 2013 prevents Irwin from being more bearish in today's stock.

"If Apple had interest then, they would probably now have interest at the right price," he said.

Irwin said the Apple car project continues to be developed in secret, and that the company is building large "dry rooms" in California to do something related to car batteries. According to Irwin, those rooms are designed to handle the environmental containment required for the production of lithium-ion batteries.

"My checks are that Apple is building several dry rooms, including a couple that is much larger than you would need for the development of a consumer product battery," Irwin wrote in a follow-up email.

Irwin is not the first to suggest that Apple and Tesla have held discussions. The San Francisco Chronicle reported in 2014 that Musk met with Apple's mergers and acquisitions chief and, probably, also with CEO Tim Cook.

If the two companies combined, it would be by far the largest acquisition of Apple and one of the largest in the history of the technology industry. Tesla's current market capitalization is approximately $ 36 billion. The most that Apple has paid is $ 3 billion for Beats Electronics in 2014.

For an agreement to occur, Apple would face the question of what to do with Musk openly and its tendency to draw attention to many of the wrong reasons, whether on Twitter or non-public material or smoking marijuana on a podcast.

"Regarding the acquisition: I understand that Apple wanted Elon Musk to move away, and that was a killer," Irwin said in the email.

CLOCK: Elon Musk has seen smoking marijuana on podcast

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