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Elon Musk backpedals on taking Tesla private

August 25, 2018

Two weeks after suggesting he would take his company private, Tesla CEO Elon Musk has reversed the plan. He says staying on the public stock markets is a "better path" for the firm.

Elon Musk in a Tesla car
Image: AFP/Getty Images/J. Lampen

Tesla's chief executive, Elon Musk, said Friday Tesla would continue to be traded publicly after investors convinced him not to take the US electric carmaker private.

Musk said in a statement posted to the company's blog that he let the board know that "I believe the better path is for Tesla to remain public. The Board indicated that they agree."

The sometimes eccentric entrepreneur shocked markets in early August when he announced on Twitter that he was considering taking the automaker private at a value of $72 billion (€62 billion). The tweet said he had "secured funding" for the plan, but the company later revealed it had not yet closed a deal with Saudi Arabia's Public Investment Fund.

Read moreTesla public or Tesla private. Which way forward?

'Better off public'

Musk said Friday that based on feedback from current shareholders, as well as an assessment by financial advisers Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley and Silver Lake, "it's apparent that most of Tesla's existing shareholders believe we are better off as a public company."

Even though the majority of shareholders "said they would remain with Tesla if we went private, the sentiment, in a nutshell, was 'please don't do this,'" he said.

A statement issued by six members of Tesla's board of directors said the special committee formed to consider the deal to turn private had been dissolved.

Read more: Will Tesla soon be 'Made in Germany'?

nm/aw (AFP, Reuters, AP)

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