Elon Musk says he's considering taking Tesla private

Elon Musk at a Tesla

Once private, Musk envisions setting Tesla up much like SpaceX (though he insisted the companies would remain separate): Only let external and employee shareholders buy or sell stock once every six months. He did not identify the would-be buyer or buyers.

But Musk continued to tweet, adding, "I don't have a controlling vote now & wouldn't expect any shareholder to have one if we go private". Shares jumped in Tuesday trading following reports that the Saudi Arabian sovereign wealth fund took a $2 billion stake in the company earlier this year.

Musk has lashed out at critics and investors who have shorted the stock, going so far as to call one prominent critic's employer to silence him, and refusing to take a hard question from a financial analyst in the company's June shareholder meeting. The stock has fallen over the past year as the company's losses have mounted. And it was in this high-skepticism atmosphere that Musk lashed out at analysts during a recent quarterly earnings call - a usually highly scripted affair - dubbing one analyst query "boring bonehead".

The first tweet was posted at 12:48 pm EST stating his interest in taking Tesla private at $420 per share, and went on to say the funding to do such a thing has been secured.

On the social media platform he noted the possibility of taking Tesla - a publicly traded company since 2010 - private. At $420 a share, Tesla would have a market cap of around $71 billion.

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.

The company is still working its way out of what Musk called "production hell" at its home factory in Fremont, California, where a series of manufacturing challenges delayed the ramp-up of production of its new Model 3 sedan, on which the company's profitability rests. Netflix stock moved higher as a result.

Tesla CEO Elon Musk says he is considering taking the electric auto maker private.

The SEC declined comment on Musk's tweet. Such backers begged Musk on Twitter to be allowed to keep their shares, and Musk assured them that they could. That turned out to be an April Fools joke.

From there Musk tweeted several times.

Musk in a letter to employees August 7th, 2018, "As the most shorted stock in the history of the stock market, being public means that there are large numbers of people who have the incentive to attack the company". It's not clear Musk has the funding to complete the deal, and he would need a majority of shareholders to agree to the plan.

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