After launching a very unusual public spat with its now-former chief financial officer, Faraday Future has reportedly received a $900 million lifeline from Indian automaker Tata Motors, which perhaps most famously now owns Jaguar Land Rover. The timing of such a significant investment from Tata would be stunning enough as it is, but the unconfirmed reports out of China don’t offer details of the purported deal. And neither side is talking.
Faraday’s weird saga took a turn for the weirder last week, after the company publicly accused Stefan Krause, Faraday’s former CFO, of “malfeasance”—only after Krause confirmed to Jalopnik that he had actually resigned from Faraday in October.
This came just a day after Faraday said it never authorized the creation of documents that purported to outline a plan for the company to enter bankruptcy and turn control of its future over to new investors.
So when reports emerged on Monday of a $900 million investment from Tata, it caught nearly everyone off guard to say the least.
Gasgoo, a Chinese automotive news aggregator, said local news outlets reported on Monday that Faraday “managed to raise 900 million dollars from Indian Tata Group and the money accounted for 10 percent of its shares.”
“In other words,” Gassgoo wrote, “the company’s valuation can be 9 billion dollars.”
It’s unclear where the reports originated. Sources familiar with Faraday’s situation told Jalopnik they weren’t aware of any negotiations between Tata and the company in recent weeks, however it’s not out of the question that a rough framework for a deal has been scratched out by both sides. Finalizing terms could take a long time, but a “letter of intent”—a document outlining initial terms of an agreement—for an investment like this could come together in a matter of days.
If true, though, it would mean Faraday—which has had notable struggles to even finish the design of its first car, despite having spent hundreds of millions of dollars so far—managed to raise nearly as much as electric car startup NIO reportedly netted in a recent round of fundraising. NIO has production car set to launch next month.
Again, it’s not out of the question. But it would be a surprise, giving Faraday a much-needed lifeboat to push along toward its goal of finishing the FF 91, its futuristic electric car, and launching production by the end of 2018.
But if something’s in the works, Faraday isn’t letting anything on. Mike Cooperman, Faraday’s director of PR and communications, said he “can’t comment at this time.”
“Will keep you in the loop if we have an announcement,” he said.
A curious observer might expect Tata to provide insight if it wasnn’t true. But the Indian automaker’s also keeping quiet.
“We do not have anything to comment in this regard,” Suresh Rangarajan, Tata’s head of corporate communications, told Jalopnik in an email.
Stranger things have happened, I suppose. But, if true, the timing of this couldn’t be any more unusual.