Elon Musk considers a private Tesla in tweet, shares jump
08 August, 2018, 00:37 | Author: Mary Valdez
Tesla chief Elon Musk stunned investors Tuesday when he tweeted that he was considering taking the company private, sending its stock soaring more than 6 percent.
It's unclear what prompted the tweet.
Tesla did not immediate respond to requests for comment.
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.
No matter if he was joking or not, as soon as Musk tweeted about this, the stock spiked.
In a second tweet on Tuesday, Mr Musk said taking the company private would not lead to a single dominant shareholder. Public companies often halt trading in their stock and file official releases before making similar statements so as to minimize market jolts and abide by guidance from the Securities and Exchange Commission.
While volume can stop trading, it's highly unlikely volume caused trading to be halted today because Tesla has historically had higher volume days than it was having on August 2, 2018.
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His US$12b Tesla stake would presumably be rolled into the private enterprise. (Musk said in his Tesla blog post that he held a 20 percent stake.) He said that if the plan goes forward, shareholders would cast the deciding vote.
After rising as much as 8.5 percent, the company's shares gave up some of their gains. At $420 a share, Tesla would have a market cap of around $71 billion.
Tesla has not confirmed whether the tweet was real - or if the CEO's account was hacked.
He added that he hoped all shareholders would remain and that all Tesla employees would "remain shareholders of the company".
Short interest in Tesla on Tuesday stood at almost $US13 billion, according to S3 Partners, a financial analytics firm.
In a 2013 report, the SEC said companies can use social media outlets to announce important information, so long as they comply with regulations and "investors have been alerted about which social media will be used to disseminate such information".
"My intention is for all Tesla employees to remain shareholders of the company, just as is the case at SpaceX", Musk said. He also stated that this is not an attempt to assume more control over his company - Musk owns approximately 20 percent of Tesla right now, and he doesn't see that changing after the company goes private. He added: "I can't believe this is something to bluff or make fun of".
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