Elon Musk isn't kidding, Tesla board confirms TSLA could go private

Elon Musk isn't kidding, Tesla board confirms TSLA could go private

Tuesday, Twitter and most of the rest of the internet freaked out over news that Elon Musk wanted to take Tesla private at $420 per share.

Neither Elon nor Tesla has said yet where it's getting the money to go private.

Midway through the trading session in NY on Wednesday, Tesla shares were down 5% at $374 after surging 11% on Tuesday.

"Given the haphazard process of disclosure last afternoon, our initial impression was that Elon Musk sprung his plan of going private upon the public without consulting Tesla's board of directors or major shareholders", Bernstein analysts said in a note titled "Going private?"

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. "That sense of the market, investors-so critical for a company like Ford".

On Wednesday morning, multiple members of Tesla's board of directors signed a statement that confirmed Musk was serious about taking Tesla private.

It's unclear if Musk has misled investors, let alone whether he has done so intentionally.

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'Being public also subjects us to the quarterly earnings cycle that puts enormous pressure on Tesla to make decisions that may be right for a given quarter, but not necessarily right for the long-term, ' Musk wrote in a letter to employees.

Musk holds "about 20 percent of the company now", the statement said, and made clear that he doesn't see that changing whether Tesla is private or public. Of course, going private probably won't require anywhere near that much money, based on how Musk wants it all to go down.

Making money has proven elusive for Tesla while it has been investing in electric auto technology and ramping up production of its vehicles, including a sedan with a starting price of $35,000 to appeal to a broader audience.

The issue of share accumulation by outsiders emerged only recently as reports that Saudi Arabia's public investment fund had built up a stake from 3 to 5 percent after its offers of purchase of new shares in Tesla were spurned by the company.

Some on Wall Street shared that view. However, Musk expects the shareholders to agree with him and allow him to take the company private again. But they did not reveal who or what institution Musk may have been referring to when he posted "funding secured".

Days after Tesla opened up the Model 3 configurator to all potential buyers, not just reservation holders who got a place in line over a year ago, uncomfortable math lingers over the automaker's.

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