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Elon Musk isn't kidding, Tesla board confirms TSLA could go private

08 August 2018

It rose slightly in early trading, moving to about $375 per share by 10:45 a.m. ET.

Musk set a price of $420 a share, substantially above the stock's current trading price and Tesla's all-time closing high of $385 a share. 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.

In a release, board members Brad Buss, Robyn Denholm, Ira Ehrenpreis, Antonio Gracias, Linda Johnson Rice, and James Murdoch said Musk opened the discussion last week. The board said only that Musk had "addressed the funding for this to occur". "The board has met several times over the last week and is taking the appropriate next steps to evaluate this".

Tesla Inc.'s board confirmed it knew last week about Elon Musk's proposal to take the electric-car maker private, adding credence to the idea that this was more than a spur-of-the-moment whim from the notoriously impulsive billionaire.

The move to take the company public would remove Musk, who himself has a 20 percent stake, from the public arena - and contentious criticism.

"W$3 e wonder how fully fleshed out Elon's tweets yesterday were", he wrote in a note.

Musk has downplayed the power of the tweets he launches at all hours to his 22 milion Twitter followers: "My tweets are literally what I'm thinking at the moment, not carefully crafted corporate bs, which is really just banal propaganda", he said in June.

"Distraction or not, the move feels right even if Musk is downplaying how supportive public markets have been". Korus said he would need more details from Musk to judge whether a buyout offer would be practical and at what price it would be attractive. The company declined to comment beyond pointing to an all-employee email sent Tuesday by Musk. In his first tweet he said funding was secured but provided no details. The company already has a $2 billion investment from Saudi Arabia's sovereign fund as well as Tencent, which took a 5 percent stake in 2017. Company share prices, particularly in deals as giant as this one, are nearly always decided by corporate executives, board members or consultants who review market data and optimize for maximum value.

Elon Musk isn't kidding, Tesla board confirms TSLA could go private