Wednesday, 19 December, 2018

Tesla board evaluating CEO's bid to take company private

Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk at a SpaceX press conference in Cape Canaveral Fla. on Feb. 6 2018. More Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk at a SpaceX press conference in Cape Canaveral Fla. on Feb. 6 2018. More
Lloyd Bates | 08 August, 2018, 23:45

That said, if they do want out, they can sell their shares at $420 per share, which is a fair bit higher than Tesla's current stock price ($382.67 at the time of writing, up from today's open price of $343.84).

Musk later clarified in a blog post that "a final decision has not yet been made", while touting the benefits of running a private company away from the "enormous pressure" of Wall Street's quarterly earnings cycle.

They said this "included discussion as to how being private could better serve Tesla's long-term interests".

'Am considering taking Tesla private at $420, ' Musk tweeted, referring to the value of the share price he would have to pay.

Tesla Inc.'s board confirmed it knew last week about Elon Musk's proposal to take the electric-car maker private, adding credence to the idea that this was more than a spur-of-the-moment whim from the notoriously impulsive billionaire.

USA regulators are examining how Tesla Inc (TSLA.O) Chief Executive Elon Musk announced his plan to take the electric carmaker private and whether his statement was truthful, the Wall Street Journal reported on Wednesday. "The board has met several times over the last week and is taking the appropriate next steps to evaluate this". He also stated that this is not an attempt to assume more control over his company - Musk owns approximately 20 percent of Tesla right now, and he doesn't see that changing after the company goes private.

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Teresa Goody, a former SEC official, said Musk "did something inappropriate and caused chaos in the market" in a way that would likely draw scrutiny from investigators. The transaction would amount to the largest leveraged buyout - in which a company borrows money to repurchase shares and exit the public market - of all time.

'Basically, I'm trying to accomplish an outcome where Tesla can operate at its best, free from as much distraction and short-term thinking as possible, ' Musk wrote.

China's Tencent Holdings Ltd (0700.HK), which took a 5 percent stake in Tesla previous year, could also be a possible partner.

Elon Musk, founder, CEO and lead designer at SpaceX and co-founder of Tesla, speaks at the International Space Station Research and Development Conference in Washington, U.S., July 19, 2017.

But the board offered no further details of the proposal or its funding, sparking new questions about the feasibility of the master gambit Musk revealed in a surprise series of midday tweets on Tuesday.

A statement was issued by six members of the electric carmaker's board after Mr Musk tweeted to say he had the funding to de-list the company. Many initially thought it was Elon Musk's attempt at a bad joke about marijuana, because "420" has always been associated with pot. The move is estimated to require north of $50 billion to buy out the public shareholders.

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