SEC inquired about Elon Musk's tweet regarding taking TSLA private

Reuters  Rebecca Cook

Reuters Rebecca Cook

Tesla didn't respond to requests for comment on Wednesday.

Musk took Tesla shareholders and the stock market by surprise on Tuesday by announcing on Twitter he was considering taking the loss-making electric car-maker private at $420 USA a share.

Since Musk hasn't provided any evidence or details about the funding, a number of people are skeptical about his claim. The SEC has previously ruled that using social media to disclose company news is OK, as along as investors have been told that those channels may be used.

"First, a final decision has not yet been made, but the reason for doing this is all about creating the environment for Tesla to operate best", explained Musk.

There is no reference to Musk's Twitter account on the company's investor relations page under "investor communication", although Tesla's Twitter feed is included.

Musk could climb the ranking faster if investors decide Tesla is worth more than its current $58 billion market cap.

At $420 apiece, buying all of Tesla's shares would cost about $72 billion, but Morgan Stanley analyst Adam Jonas wrote in a note to investors Wednesday that he expects about $50 billion in additional net debt.

Two of the potential stumbling blocks to Musk's plan include the stock price premium not being enough to get the existing shareholders on board to support the sale and coming up short on the announced funding to complete the transition.

Tesla CEO Elon Musk met with SoftBank CEO Masayoshi Son about taking the electric-car maker private previous year, Bloomberg reports.

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Musk's plan for a price of $420 a share would value a deal at more than $70 billion.

"If Apple wanted to be in the vehicle business, this is how you do it-you step up, doesn't have to be $420 (per share), it could be another price".

Public companies have four days to report certain material events that shareholders should know about to the US Securities and Exchange Commission. In short, Musk believes going private can place the focus back on long-term planning, which is now viewed through the lens of how it will affect short-term quarterly finances.

SoftBank is now not interested in a deal for Tesla after earlier this year taking a stake in General Motors Co's self-driving unit, Cruise, Reuters reported earlier on Wednesday.

Mr Musk and SoftBank held unsuccessful talks about a take-private deal in April 2017, according to a source familiar with the matter.

Musk laid out his reasoning for going private in an email to Tesla employees yesterday, which was subsequently posted on Tesla's website.

Some on Wall Street shared that view. However, they may balk if Tesla becomes even more leveraged and risky in the process of going private. The company declined to comment beyond pointing to an all-employee email sent Tuesday by Musk.

Those who believe Musk is carrying out a vendetta against short sellers may point to a May 4 tweet suggesting he might have something up his sleeve. In its statement, the board said the company's chief executive had "addressed the funding for this to occur".

Other board members mentioned in the statement included Robyn Denholm, Ira Ehrenpreis, Antonio Gracias and Linda Johnson Rice.

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