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Elon Musk to take Tesla private?

August 7, 2018

The chief executive officer of US carmaker Tesla has said on Twitter he is considering taking the company private. Investors reacted positively to the announcement, with shares up considerably within minutes.

Tesla's Elon Musk
Image: picture-alliance/ANP/J. Lampen

Tesla CEO Elon Musk said on Twitter Tuesday he was considering having the firm purchase all outstanding shares and return the maker of electric cars to a privately held company.

He indicated there wouldn't be any funding issue involved in the move.

It was not clear immediately if Musk was serious, with the CEO having a history of just-for-fun and erratic tweets. Tesla did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Happy investors

Nevertheless, the company's shares were up 6.5 percent at $363.46 shortly after the announcement. Later in the day, trading in Tesla shares was suspended.

Asked by users how current small investors would be treated, Musk added the following tweet on Tuesday:

Tesla has a market value of $58 billion (€50 billion) as of Monday's close, and Musk himself owns nearly 20 percent of the company.

A deal of $420 per share would represent a 22.8 percent premium on Tesla's closing price on Monday, valuing the firm at about $72 billion.

Separately on Tuesday, the Financial Times reported that Saudi Arabia's sovereign wealth fund had built a minority stake below the 5 percent threshold requiring public disclosure.

Musk presents Tesla's big rig

hg/jd (Reuters, AFP)