The Story Behind My Only Tesla

$1,000

$2,000

$3,000

A couple of years ago Katie and I were at a fundraiser for the kids school.  They were auctioning off a puppy (when you think about it this is totally unfair).  We didn’t have a dog, and Katie decided it was time to get one.  She told me to bid, and I started bidding.

$4,000

$5,000

Before each bid, I’m looking over my shoulder at Katie desperately looking for any sign from her that I can stop.  I don’t want a dog; especially an overpriced one.  This is getting ridiculous as the bids are now up to some multiple of what we would spend on a different puppy.  She is undeterred.  It’s for a good cause she assures me.

$6,000

$7,000

$8,000

Now, I know I’m the biggest idiot in the room.  What’s worse is that all of the other parents know it.  Our friends are laughing in total delight.  Katie is laughing, but still instructing me to bid.

$9,000

$10,000

$11,000

The guy I’m bidding against (a really good guy who runs a mutual fund) has his instructions as well.  He just keeps his hand in the air.

$12,000

$13,000

Finally, relief.  Katie tells me I can stop.  I wipe the sweat from my brow, take a drink of water, and silently express gratitude that the cheers throughout the room aren’t for me as the owner of an extremely overpriced puppy.

A couple of weeks later, Katie is totally undeterred and I’m driving my family to the breeder to pick up our new dog.  Katie, sensing my hesitation, has even agreed to cover the cost!  It’s a nice gesture even though it’s a small fraction of what she would have had me spending a few weeks earlier. The kids name the puppy Tesla.

The name comes from the inventor Nikola Tesla rather than the car, but I quickly adopt the joke that it was one or the other and my wife wanted the dog.

I’ve been thinking about this story because I’m in the market for a new car.  However, it is difficult to buy a Tesla (the car) here in Utah.  I was wondering why that was while I was reading a recent SEC filing from Leucadia.  They just agreed to sell an investment they had in the Garff family car dealership business based here in Utah.  The SEC filing reads:

“Leucadia has also agreed to sell 100% of its equity interests in Garcadia and its associated real estate to Leucadia’s current partners, the Garff family. The sale price for Leucadia’s interests, based on a $675 million enterprise valuation, is a net $425 million, payable $375 million in cash and $50 million in redeemable preferred equity. Leucadia will recognize a pre-tax gain of about $220 million. This transaction is expected to close in the third quarter of 2018. Leucadia has cumulatively invested $321 million in Garcadia since 2006 and has received cash distributions of $394 million to date prior to the net $425 million sale proceeds plus the pre-closing earnings distribution.”

$675 Million

That’s why it’s difficult to buy a Tesla in Utah.

That’s why I only have one Tesla.

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