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Tesla boss Musk weighs go-private deal for electric carmaker

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09th-Aug-2018       
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AFP, New York :
Controversial Tesla chief executive Elon Musk said Tuesday he was considering taking the electric carmaker private, sending shares sharply higher in anticipation of a big premium.
Going private would take the company out of the quarterly reporting cycle, making it "free from as much distraction and short-term thinking as possible," Musk said in a blog post.
Musk, who has depicted the quest to build up no-emissions electric cars as an environmental mission, said he viewed going private as "the best path forward," but that a final decision had not been made and ultimately rested on shareholder support.
Shares finished up 11 percent at $379.57 after being suspended for about 90 minutes following a series of Musk statements on Twitter in which he initially floated the idea of going private.
Musk's first tweet said funding was "secured" for a transaction that could value the company at $420 a share.
At that price, the Tesla transaction would be worth more than $71 billion.
A leveraged buyout of this size - one using debt - would eclipse by a wide margin the prior record, the purchase for utility TXU Corp. in 2007 by a consortium that included KKR and TPG for $44 billion.
Gains following the tweet added to upward movement on the stock after the Financial Times reported that a Saudi Arabian sovereign wealth fund had built
a stake of between three and five percent in the company.
Musk's tweet comes as Tesla faces continued pressure to ramp up output of
the Model 3 sedan, its first effort at the middle market.
The billionaire Musk, who owns about 20 percent of the company, said a
transaction would not "substantially" alter his stake and that he expected to
continue to lead the company if it occurred

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