Years After Going Public, Elon Musk Wants To Take Tesla Private

Elon Musk tweet 'Am considering taking Tesla private at $420. Funding secured'

Elon Musk tweet 'Am considering taking Tesla private at $420. Funding secured'

A number of bankers and private-equity investors privately cast doubt on Elon Musk's ability to pull off a buyout of Tesla Inc. after he raised the possibility in a series of tweets Tuesday. "We believe that the majority of Tesla's production lines will be ready to produce at this rate by the end of 2018", Musk said during the company's second quarter results last week.

But it was not clear how seriously to take the post, given Mr Musk's history on the social media service.

Nasdaq stock exchange halted trading in Tesla shares around 2.08pm local time.

Part of the reason Musk believes this is the right thing to do is because Tesla faces increased scrutiny as a public company.

Musk also owns about 10 percent of Space X, which is valued at $25 billion and a large portion of The Boring Company, which analysts have said could reach $16 billion in value if it executes on current contracts.

Separately, Financial Times reported on Tuesday Saudi Arabia's sovereign wealth fund, overseen by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, has built an undisclosed stake of between 3 and 5 percent stake in Tesla. Short sellers borrow shares from other investors and then immediately sell them on the premise that they will be able to buy them back at a lower price later to replace they stock they borrowed. The company laid off 9% of its workforce, submitted any spending more than a million for Musk's approval, refused to sell shares or debt to raise additional money, and cut its cash burn in the second quarter.

He added that he hoped all shareholders would remain and that all Tesla employees would "remain shareholders of the company".

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Once the tweet began making the rounds, stock prices surged.

In an internal email, sent from Musk to Tesla employees on August 7, the CEO confirmed most of this, as he explained his thinking directly.

"Once Tesla enters a phase of slower, more-predictable growth, it will likely make sense to return to the public markets", he wrote.

At 3:28 p.m., Tesla tweeted a link to a blog posting on its website titled "Taking Tesla Private", in which Musk said: "As a public company, we are subject to wild swings in our stock price that can be a major distraction for everyone working at Tesla, all of whom are shareholders". They would continue to have separate ownership and governance structures.

"This has nothing to do with accumulating control for myself", he said.

He goes on to mention the quarterly earnings cycle and how that puts pressure on the company to focus on moves that would boost quarterly numbers while disregarding longer-term motives and outcomes. He responded to one user who observed that going private would save Tesla "a lot of headaches". Either way, the future is very bright and we'll keep fighting to achieve our mission.

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