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Apple M&A head met Tesla CEO Elon Musk last spring

The chances of Apple acquiring Tesla seem slim, but a possible collaboration or an infusion of cash by Apple into Tesla seem more likely.

By Ananth Baliga
Apple M&A head met Tesla CEO Elon Musk last spring
Tesla CEO Elon Musk had a secret meeting with executives from Apple last spring, with no confirmation on what was discussed during the meeting. UPI/Kevin Dietsch | License Photo

CUPERTINO, Calif., Feb. 17 (UPI) -- A secret meeting between Apple's M&A head Adrian Perica and Tesla CEO Elon Musk last spring has the industry speculating about the outcome.

The meeting, which was reported by the San Francisco Chronicle, was held at Apple's Cupertino headquarters and possibly involved Apple CEO Tim Cook as well. This coincides with reports last year that suggested Apple was looking to buy the electric car maker.

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This is not the first time this pairing has been suggested. Adnaan Ahmad, an analyst with German investment bank Berenberg, wrote an open letter suggesting that Apple acquire Tesla to generate revenues that would not be possible selling phones and tablets.

"I know this is radical and potentially 'transformative' but this would radically alter Apple's growth profile," Ahmad wrote. "In Elon Musk, you could strike up a partnership and obtain a new iconic partner to lead Apple's innovation drive."

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While this meeting seems to suggest that Apple was thinking of some kind of a deal with Tesla six months before Ahmad suggested it, industry experts feel the chances of Apple acquiring the car maker are slim. This would move the company away from their core business and put them in the car industry, in which they have little expertise.

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One possibility could be a collaboration on power management and batteries -- given that batteries are critical to both businesses. The development of efficient, portable power sources could also help Apple if it decides to get into wearables, with speculation rife about a possible "iWatch."

With Apple's announcement that it will team up with car makers to better integrate its iOS software into car dashboards, chances are the talks possibly invovled the incorporation of Apple's software in Teslas. With both Apple and Tesla refusing to comment, rumors will continue to swirl.

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[SF Chronicle] [CNET] [Mac Observer]

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