Elon Musk considering taking Tesla private

Enlarge  Elon Musk

Enlarge Elon Musk

Mr Musk has previously discussed the drawbacks of being a public company, saying shareholder demands often produce short-term thinking.

Mr. Musk's account tweeted: "Am considering taking Tesla private at $420. Funding secured", Musk said.

Tesla's shares were up 6.5pc at $363.46.

Musk's surprise announcement comes as the Financial Times revealed that a fund controlled by the Saudi Arabian government holds a stake of between three and five percent in the company. However, given Musk's lack of concern for industry norms and his ongoing feud with short-sellers, it's not out of the realm of possibility.

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The rift between the federal government and Saudi Arabia has prompted the country's state airline to suspend operations in Canada. A number of rights campaigners, including award-winning gender rights activist Samar Badawi, have been arrested in the kingdom.

While Musk is known for making erratic tweets, he tweeted "420" in a reply to Fox Business anchor Liz Claman, following up on his initial tweet.

The news caused Tesla's share price to jump by $14. The stock has fallen over the past year as losses mounted.

Tesla spokespeople have not yet confirmed the proposal to any media outlets. A share premium in a buy-out is common, so the $420 number isn't out of the realm of possibility.

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