Elon Musk tweets he is taking Tesla private at $US420

Elon Musk

Elon Musk

Musk, who has previously discussed possibly taking Tesla private, has had bumpy relations with Wall Street, often dismissing questions over financing. In a Bloomberg report following the tweet, the publication quoted Musk as having said in 2015, "There's a lot of noise that surrounds a public company and people are constantly commenting on the share price and value.Being public definitely increases the management overhead for any given enterprise". "The stock is worth $570 a share based on 2019 revenue". Following the tweet, Tesla stock shot up to $367.25 before the stock's trading was halted at 2:08pm.

Tesla shares closed up 11 per cent at US$379.57, slightly below their all-time high.

The plan would need shareholder approval, but Musk's tweet sent Tesla stock spiking by nearly 9%.

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. And the fact that the company has been burning through cash, and even asking suppliers to refund payments might make such a buyout fairly unlikely.

The CEO said shareholders would have the final say if he decides to follow through on going private, and that he would stay in his job.

The billionaire Musk, who owns about 20 per cent 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. He said in his letter to employees that he did not seek to expand his ownership.

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While Twitter users had questioned whether the $420 price was real - the number is a slang term for marijuana - he confirmed that it was about a 20 percent premium over Tesla's share price after its second-quarter earnings.

"My hope is all current investors remain with Tesla even if we're private", Musk tweeted.

Musk has a long history of bristling at the amount of scrutiny Tesla endures from investors and media.

Greentech Media senior analyst Allison Mond gave her view on Tesla going private, with a careful eye to its solar business. It drove $2.3 billion of convertible debt past the level at which investors can swap it for stock at a profit; if that happens Tesla will not have to pay back the debt with cash.

Such a deal, if it went ahead, would take Tesla out of the glare of Wall Street but might limit its access to capital. Fidelity, the investment firm, has such a fund for its stake in SpaceX, a separate private company also run by Musk. Finally, as the most shorted stock in the history of the stock market, being public means that there are large numbers of people who have the incentive to attack the company.

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The news, first reported by the Financial Times, sent Tesla shares up about 5 percent.

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Musk did not disclose the source of the funding.

When Tesla was just getting started, issuing stock wasn't an issue - it's what a company with many years of growth is supposed to do.

Tesla shares have been on the upswing since it reported on August 1 a bigger-than-expected second-quarter but signalled that it expects to reach profitability in the third quarter and remain in the black for the foreseeable future.

And Tesla also released an email to its employees in which Musk argued going private would release the company from "wild swings in our stock price that can be a major distraction for everyone working at Tesla".

Tesla shares were already trading higher today because of a report in the Financial Times of a new stake from the Saudi Arabia sovereign wealth fund.

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