Years After Going Public, Elon Musk Wants To Take Tesla Private

Elon Musk considers taking Tesla private as stock jumps

The disclosure initially raised questions whether the eccentric Musk was joking, but he then amplified on his plan in a subsequent tweet that said he meant to create a special fund that would allow all current Tesla shareholders to retain a stake in the vehicle maker if they want.

"We're working on a new Tesla mini-car that can squeeze in an adult", Musk tweeted on Sunday, replying to a user who asked him about a "Model X Radio Flyer" toy vehicle. Following the tweet, Tesla stock shot up to $367.25 before the stock's trading was halted at 2:08pm. About an hour and 20 minutes after the Musk tweet, trading in Tesla stock was suspended because the company was expected to release news. Bloomberg reports that if Musk managed to scrape together the cash to go private, it would be the largest leveraged buyout in history.

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.

Musk's tweet came nearly simultaneously with a new report from the Financial Times that revealed for the first time that Saudi Arabia's Public Investment Fund has been quietly buying up about five per cent of the electric auto company over the last few months to the tune of $US2 billion ($2.7 billion). Musk argues that this has allowed SpaceX to be far more "operationally efficient". However, they are still a long way off the $420 price teased by Musk.

"In 2013, the SEC made it clear that people could use social media to disclose significant information about their companies, but they had a caveat, which is people need to know where to look", Pitt said.

"Once Tesla enters a phase of slower, more-predictable growth, it will likely make sense to return to the public markets", he wrote.

However, Mr Musk has said he has no plans to do so and promised that the firm will be profitable in the second half of the year, barring any unforeseen events.

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A $420 share price would value the company at around $70bn. Often his erratic behaviour has drawn more attention than his struggles to shift Tesla from a niche luxury vehicle maker into a mainstream automotive company.

The CEO claimed that the funding to take the automaker private at $420 per share was "secured".

Here's what I envision being private would mean for all shareholders, including all of our employees.

Last month, Musk attacked British diver Vern Unsworth, who had dismissed the Tesla chief's efforts to help the rescue mission for the 12 boys as a "PR stunt" in a widely seen interview on CNN. "My hope is for all shareholders to remain, but if they prefer to be bought out, then this would enable that to happen at a nice premium", he said. If we were to go private, employees would still be able to periodically sell their shares and exercise their options. They would continue to have separate ownership and governance structures.

But time and again Musk and Tesla have been given more time to achieve success.

It would require a shareholder vote, Musk said. He responded to one user who observed that going private would save Tesla "a lot of headaches".

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