Tesla has stopped the offering of more than $1 billion in bonds backed by vehicle leases on its cars as market conditions continue a trend of unpredictability, a report from Bloomberg said.
Citing people with knowledge of the matter, the report states that bankers for Tesla had placed a “significant portion” of the bonds with fund managers before marketing was halted. Inflation, which CEO Elon Musk hinted would increase vehicle prices, along with the uncertainty of Russia’s war with Ukraine, has sent short-term interest rates through the roof in the past several weeks. Some issuers are pausing financing plans until market conditions have stabilized.
Tesla is the third issuer to halt a sale amid the market’s unpredictable nature in the past week. World Omni, an auto-finance company, postponed auto lease-backed bond offerings on Friday, although it had already started to market it. Affirm Holdings Inc. also delayed an offering of debt backed by consumer installment loans on the same day.
Bloomberg said Tesla, nor the banks involved in arranging the deal, which were Wells Fargo, Credit Suisse, Barclays, and Citigroup, declined to comment.
The report indicates at least seven securitized debt deals in all have been halted since Russia started its invasion of Ukraine. Market conditions have not been ideal for several months, and skyrocketing inflation is affecting nearly every sector. Tesla announced price hikes across its entire vehicle fleet earlier this week, with its cheapest vehicle now starting at nearly $47,000.
The Tesla ABS offering is known as TESLA 2022-A, according to the report. It launched on March 7, with pricing guidance released on March 10. Most of the tranches were sold, and pricing was imminent by Tuesday, the company said. The deal was incomplete as communication went silent before Tesla ultimately halted it.
Tesla has issued seven transactions since starting its ABS program in early 2018. This year’s collateral pool consists of borrowers with an average FICO score of 774, according to presale reports recovered by Bloomberg.
According to Fitch Rating analysts, Tesla’s managed portfolio and securitizations have performed well despite the company having “limited experience” in originating, underwriting, and servicing auto leases.
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