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Tesla's chief executive Elon Musk met the head of Japanese mega-investor Softbank in 2017 to discuss a potential investment in the company, including the possibility of taking it private.

Masayoshi Son held talks with Musk in April last year on the matter, but discussions on taking Tesla off the public stock market failed to progress due to "disagreements over ownership", sources close to the matter told Bloomberg.

Musk shocked the world on Tuesday with a single tweet in which he said he was considering taking the electric vehicle manufacturer private, despite the company never having made a profit.

The move sparked a rise in Tesla's share price, ballooning up 11 per cent before trading was temporarily suspended. The company lost some of those gains yesterday as analysts remained sceptical on Musk's ability to drum up enough funding.

Read more: Tesla loses headwind as analysts cast doubt on going private

One source said Musk had proposed a structure to Softbank which would have given him "disproportionate" control over the company with supervoting rights. There are no active talks in place today.

Representatives for Tesla and Softbank did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Tesla's share price closed in the US yesterday down 2.4 per cent, and has edged a further 1.4 per cent down in pre-market trading this morning.

Read more: Elon Musk: a private Tesla would be an 'enormous opportunity'

Softbank is known for investing large sums into tech companies across the world, often through its $100bn Vision Fund. One of the fund's major backers, the Saudi Arabian Public Investment Fund, has built a $2bn stake in Tesla to date.

A takeover by Softbank could cause an intervention in the deal's terms by US government, which has blocked significant investment deals from foreign entities into US companies in recent years.

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