Published: Wed, August 08, 2018
Economy | By Melissa Porter

Elon Musk indicates taking Tesla private as he posts 'funding secured' tweet

Elon Musk indicates taking Tesla private as he posts 'funding secured' tweet

His tweet came hours after the Financial Times reported that Saudi Arabia's sovereign wealth fund had bought a $2 billion stake in Tesla Inc., but it was unclear if that was the funding Musk was referring to.

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

In subsequent tweets on Tuesday, Musk said that he hoped all current investors would stay with Tesla even if it went private, and that he would be willing to create a fund to allow it.

"I believe Tesla considers Tweets as public disclosure".

But asked if he would take legal action against Musk over the allegation, Unsworth said: 'If it's what I think it is yes'.

Despite its challenges, Tesla has remained a favourite among many investors, partly due to their faith in Musk, who made his initial fortune as a co-founder of PayPal and also is the CEO of a trail-blazing aerospace company, SpaceX, that's already private.

He says no final decision has been made. He claims Tesla is the most shorted stock "in the history of the stock market" and that going private would remove them from the narrative.

"I can't believe this is something to bluff or make fun of".

"His mission for Tesla (to accelerate the globe's adoption of sustainable energy) is both grand and long-term, making it hard to accommodate investors quarterly expectations", he wrote. SpaceX is a flawless example: it is far more operationally efficient, and that is largely due to the fact that it is privately held.

"Am super appreciative of Tesla shareholders", Musk said.

Tesla did not respond to a request for comment immediately.

Tesla shares, which were already rising on news of the Gulf investor, spiked in response.

Musk also wants Tesla's employees to remain shareholders.

Shares have rallied strongly since those earnings but Musk has continued to show a short fuse towards critics, lambasting "short" sellers of Tesla shares - those who take bets that the stock will fall in value.

Going private is one way to avoid close scrutiny by the public market as Musk and the company face those challenges.

The Tesla CEO wrote a lengthy note to all of his staff stating that he had discovered someone working intently on causing malicious damage within the company's ranks. They would continue to have separate ownership and governance structures.

Finally, this has nothing to do with accumulating control for myself.

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.

We reached out to Tesla to find out what this all means and will update when we hear more.

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