Billionaire George Soros’ investment firm has just bought into Tesla bonds during the first quarter of 2018, giving the electric automaker a prominent supporter and backer. A filing by the American Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) showed Soros Fund Management LLC taking a US$35 million stake (RM139 million) in the convertible bonds of Tesla, which are due in March 2019.

Convertible bonds are hybrid securities – either bonds or preferred stock – that can be exchanged for a predetermined number of common shares. This allows an investor to participate in stock-price changes, but with the yield and greater security of a fixed-income instrument. Soros, 87, previously held some Tesla stock, but sold off his stake last year.

Tesla, which is run by billionaire Elon Musk, has been under pressure from investors to prove the company can solve production problems, stem senior staff departures and resolve questions about crashes involving its Autopilot feature.

By the end of March, Tesla posted a record loss of US$784.6 million, which is its highest ever quarterly loss. The company then came under severe selling pressure as the luxury automaker faced various concerns about its ability to produce its more affordable Model 3 sedan, and a few high profile crashes involving the Autopilot system. Musk said the company was undergoing a “thorough reorganisation,” which are likely to address these concerns.