US-based electric car pioneer Tesla says it is in talks with Saudi Arabia with a view to the country’s Public Investment Fund (PIF) being the key financial backer for CEO Elon Musk’s plans to take the firm private. PIF has recently built up a 3-5% Tesla stake.

Musk says buyout plans would be worth $420 a share, well above the current price of $350 and implying a total value of $71bn. PIF’s assets are worth $250bn. Plans to inject a further $100bn via the flotation of 5% of...