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Tesla’s Big Question: Better or Worse Off as Private Company
08 August 2018, 09:55 | Kelvin Horton
Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk at a SpaceX press conference in Cape Canaveral Fla. on Feb. 6 2018. More
"Given the haphazard process of disclosure last afternoon, our initial impression was that Elon Musk sprung his plan of going private upon the public without consulting Tesla's board of directors or major shareholders", Bernstein analysts said in a note titled "Going private?"
"Having complex stakeholders is great", Farley said in response to a question about being public vs. private from FoxNews.com Automotive Editor Gary Gastelu at Ford's headquarters in Dearborn, Michigan.
"If the market believes that Elon Musk's financing is in place and the chances of a buyout is high, we should see short covering in size, driving Tesla's stock price higher in the short term as short sellers attempt to close out their positions at lower than the $420 takeout price", said Ihor Dusaniwsky, a managing director at S3 Partners.
"We've been in existence for over 100 years-we've always had complicated stakeholders - and that's what makes our company great and vibrant", he said.
Elon Musk's tweets early on Tuesday caused plenty of speculation and controversy.
Former SEC chair Harvey Pitt told CNBC that while the U.S. stock market regulator permits executives of publicly listed companies to use social media to make statements about their businesses, Musk's tweet was still "highly unprecedented".
Investors must now weigh whether giving even more freedom to Musk, and the extra debt the deal may incur, is worth it. The move would also have little effect on Musk's current stake in the company, which rests at about 20 percent in current publicly traded form.
The issue of share accumulation by outsiders emerged only recently as reports that Saudi Arabia's public investment fund had built up a stake from 3 to 5 percent after its offers of purchase of new shares in Tesla were spurned by the company.
He said that would allow Tesla to "operate at its best, free from as much distraction and short-term thinking as possible".
Tesla stock closed Tuesday at $379.57.
Harvey Pitt, a former chair of the Securities and Exchange Commission, said Musk's asserting a final sale price and that funding was "secured" opened him to potential charges of stock manipulation or securities fraud.
The six board members who issued the statement on Wednesday included James Murdoch, chief executive of Twenty-First Century Fox Inc. and Brad Buss, who was the chief financial officer of solar panel maker SolarCity until it was bought by Tesla in 2016.
Musk has some sensible reasons for going private. "If the process ends the way I expect it will, a private Tesla would ultimately be an enormous opportunity for all of us". But they did not reveal who or what institution Musk may have been referring to when he posted "funding secured". "And if you stay as a shareholder you get less information than before and you depend more and more on Elon Musk".
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