Musk tweets he may take Tesla private and shares roar


Elon now owns about 20 percent of Tesla and so he would need something like $50 billion in additional capital to fully privatize the company, along with a shareholder vote of "yes" to the move. Trading was temporarily suspended, but Tesla stock closed at $379.57 (£293.33 / €327.25) which is an increase of almost 11 percent. I own about 20% of the company now, and I don't envision that being substantially different after any deal is completed.

In his typically unorthodox fashion, the eccentric Mr Musk dropped his bombshell on his Twitter account, which he has used as a platform for pranks, vitriol and now for a proposal to pull off one of the biggest buyouts in USA history.

Musk has long regretted the need to take Tesla public in 2010, and now he appears to be poised to do something about it.

After first issuing a tweet that he was mulling the idea of taking Tesla private, Musk on Tuesday said in a letter to employees that he would prefer to run Tesla as a private company to allow it to operate away from the attention it receives due to its notoriously volatile stock price. He said wild swings in the stock price are a "major distraction" to workers and that being public "puts enormous pressure on Tesla to make decisions that may be right for a given quarter, but not necessarily right for the long-term".

Tesla Inc shares jumped more than 7 per cent on Tuesday after Chief Executive Elon Musk said on Twitter he is considering taking the electric vehicle maker private at US$420 per share as it goes through a period of rapid growth and financial constraints. If the stock gets taken out at $420, however, those shorts will take a bath.

Musk let the world know via Twitter on Tuesday that he's looking to shift his $60 billion market cap EV pioneer from a public to private company.

The confusion caused by Mr Musk's Tuesday announcement via Twitter also prompted regulators of the Nasdaq stock market to temporarily suspend trading in Tesla's stock. "His credibility has come into question over a number of things". The California auto maker has burned through US$1.8-billion in the first half of 2018 and is among the most-shorted stocks on the USA markets. He cited SpaceX as an example and said it is "far more operationally efficient" because it is a private company.

The most obvious equity partners for Musk would be a sovereign wealth fund such as Saudi Arabia's Public Investment Fund (PIF) or major technology investment funds such as SoftBank Group Corp's Vision Fund, bankers said. The fund could eventually control more than $2 trillion in assets, according to Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. He responded to one user who observed that going private would save Tesla "a lot of headaches". A Tesla spokesman declined to comment.

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"This is a boon for any bondholder at Tesla, because most of the bonds are convertible notes".

"I believe Tesla considers Tweets as public disclosure".

In its second quarter results for 2018 the company posted $4bn of revenue and a loss of $717m. "Being public definitely increases the management overhead for any given enterprise".

He says no final decision has been made.

Musk's tweet said he's secured funding. "Our guess is there is a 1 in 3 chance he can actually pull this off".

In recent months, Musk has been unpredictable and defiant in the face of concerns that Tesla is running out of cash and overextending itself as it races to hit production goals for the Model 3.

The buyout is "highly unlikely", said Joel Levington, analyst at Bloomberg Intelligence.