Elon Musk tweets he may take Tesla private

Gladys Abbott
August 7, 2018

Chief Executive Elon Musk said on Twitter he is considering taking Tesla Inc private at US$420 per share as the electric vehicle maker faces the challenges of fast growth and financial constraints, sending its shares up more than 6 per cent.

In a second tweet on Tuesday, Mr Musk said taking the company private would not lead to a single dominant shareholder.

Tesla's stock spiked Tuesday after Musk made the abrupt announcement in a terse tweet.

The SEC did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Musk's tweet.

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Tesla's shares were up 6.5 percent at $363.46. Much of that increase was driven by an earlier report that Saudi Arabia's sovereign wealth fund has bought $2 billion in Tesla stock, representing a 3-5% stake in the company.

On April Fool's Day, Mr Musk, who owns nearly 20% of the company, joked on Twitter about Tesla going bankrupt. It would be one of the biggest go-private deals on record with a price tag of about $72 billion, based on $420 per share.

While Mr Musk has previously discussed the drawbacks of being a public company, he has also used his Twitter account in ways that surprised investors.

Tesla's shares jumped as high as $371.15 in afternoon trading.

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