Tesla's board forms special committee to vet any proposal to go private

Part Of Saudi's Life After Oil Plan City Of Neom For Robots Not Humans

"This is why I referred to "funding secured" in the August 7 announcement", he said, referring to his surprise tweet on that date that he was thinking about taking Tesla private. The SEC has asked Tesla for more details about Musk's tweets and proof that he has secured the necessary funding for the transaction.

Musk has since attempted to calm things down by issuing a blog post Monday in which he expressed confidence that conversations with a Saudi sovereign wealth fund can lead to a deal.

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Last week, Musk was sued by investors who accused him of having made the announcement to take the firm private to harm so-called "short sellers", people who sell the firm's shares anticipating a drop in the market price and with whom Musk has been engaged in open warfare for some time, contending that they are harming the firm's growth plans.

"Despite Elon Musk's frustration with being a public company, I think there are more advantages to remaining public", said CFRA analyst Efraim Levy, citing cheaper access to capital and media exposure due to interest in a public company.

The committee has the authority to evaluate and negotiate a potential deal, or any alternatives proposed by Mr. Musk, on the board's behalf, Tesla said. According to Musk, the tweet followed a meeting with the managing director of Saudi Arabia's Public Investment Fund.

Goldman Sachs declined to comment.

California-based Tesla has become one of the most valuable automakers on expectations it will disrupt the industry, although it produced only slightly more than 100,000 vehicles a year ago.

Denholm, the first woman to join Tesla's board, is chief operations officer of telecom firm Telstra and the ex-CFO of network gear maker Juniper Networks.

Buss served as chief financial officer of solar panel installer SolarCity for two years before retiring in 2016. In a statement published on the company's official website, the Tesla CEO also admitted that he was first approached for the move nearly two years ago.

The funding needed for the buyout would be raised from equity and not debt, because Tesla has enough debt as it is, the company's CEO also said, adding that the board will review all the information accumulated in the run-up to a formal proposal and will then make a decision.

Latham and Watkins LLP has been retained by the committee as its legal counsel.

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