Tesla Motors CEO Elon Musk at Tesla Store opening in Westfield Mall, London, Oct 2013
Tesla CEO Elon Musk said Tuesday he is considering taking the electric car company private.
The executive posted on Twitter, “Am considering taking Tesla private at $420 a share.”
Tesla’s stock bounced 7.3 percent Tuesday immediately after the news. Trading was halted for well over an hour on Tuesday.
Shareholders could either to sell at 420 or hold shares & go private
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) August 7, 2018
Shortly after that news, Musk tweeted again that current shareholders would have the option of selling their shares at $420 or holding them privately.
The company issued a statement from Musk to shareholders saying, in part,
“As a public company, we are subject to wild swings in our stock price that can be a major distraction for everyone working at Tesla, all of whom are shareholders. 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…. This proposal to go private would ultimately be finalized through a vote of our shareholders.”
The statement also referenced SpaceX, Musk’s second-biggest company, and said that he envisions Tesla having a structure similar to SpaceX, but “separate ownership and governance structures.”
After being hammered through the second quarter, Tesla’s stock has rallied since the company’s third-quarter earnings call last week in which Musk said the company is producing 5,000 Model 3 cars a week (even if some are built in a tent), and promised profits essentially henceforth forever (barring some debt payments.)
Since Tesla went public in 2010, its stock has been on a roller coaster ride, gaining almost 2,000 percent in eight years, but also reportedly becoming at times the most shorted stock in history.
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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 difficult question from a financial analyst in the company’s June shareholder meeting.
Starting in November, Tesla faces repayment of $1.7 billion in debt over the next 18 months that is tied to the company’s stock price. The higher the price, the less likely it is that Tesla will have to repay those loans.
Musk has every incentive to try to either drive up the stock price or eliminate the need for public reporting on sales and finances by taking the company private.
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Musk’s target for taking the company private would value it at more than $82 billion, according to Bloomberg.
Musk also owns about 10 percent of Space X, which is valued at $25 billion and a large portion of The Boring Company, which analysts have said could reach $16 billion in value if it executes on current contracts.
Green Car Reports reached out to Tesla for comment and is awaiting comment.
Update (3:43 p.m.): This story was updated to include a statement from Musk and Tesla.
Update (3:53 p.m.): This story was updated again to reflect that Tesla stock resumed trading.