Tesla CEO Elon Musk has tweeted news that he’s working with buyout firm Silver Lake and investment bank Goldman Sachs, among a host of other firms, in a bid to take the company private.
“I’m excited to work with Silver Lake and Goldman Sachs as financial advisors, plus Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz and Munger, Tolles & Olson as legal advisors, on the proposal to take Tesla private,” Musk tweeted Monday night.
I’m excited to work with Silver Lake and Goldman Sachs as financial advisors, plus Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz and Munger, Tolles & Olson as legal advisors, on the proposal to take Tesla private
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) August 14, 2018
While Silver Lake has been informally assisting Musk, the firm has not been hired as a financial adviser, an anonymous source told Reuters. Goldman Sachs and the other two law firms could not be reached for comment by the news agency.
Earlier on Monday, Musk revealed that the Saudi Arabian government – which holds a stake of between three and five percent in Tesla – has long been interested in taking the company private.
The news comes less than two weeks after Musk tweeted that he was considering taking Tesla private, if its stock were to hit $420. In a blog post, the mercurial CEO explained that he wanted to go private to remove the “major distraction” of fluctuating stock prices, get away from the pressure of quarterly earnings cycles, and remove “perverse incentives for people to try to harm what we’re all trying to achieve.”
Am considering taking Tesla private at $420. Funding secured.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) August 7, 2018
Tesla’s stock price jumped 10 percent at the news, adding to gains from a few days previously, when the oil-rich Saudi Arabian government’s stake in the electric carmaker was revealed.
However, shares remained below the $420 price mentioned by Musk, and receded in the days afterwards. Several investors accused Musk of manipulating Tesla’s stock price, deliberately tweeting misinformation to hurt short-sellers.
In a lawsuit, they described Musk’s tweet as a “nuclear attack” brought on to “completely decimate” short-sellers – traders who make money by borrowing overpriced shares, selling them, and then repurchasing the shares at a lower price.
Musk has often lashed out at short-sellers, and mocked them over the weekend, joking that he would soon sell “short shorts” as Tesla merchandise.
Short shorts coming soon to Tesla merch
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) August 11, 2018
The New York Times reported that Musk took to Twitter “impulsively” and tweeted in anger at Tesla’s critics, citing sources close to Musk.
Tesla has been publicly traded since 2010, and has seen its share price rise from just under $20 back then to $360 at time of writing. The company is currently valued at just over $60 billion, with Musk holding almost a 20-percent stake.
Before its recent rally, Tesla’s share price had been in a downward spiral for much of the summer, as the company struggled to meet production targets for its mid-range Model 3 sedan, while Musk’s erratic Twitter behavior worried investors.
On top of his trolling and ongoing feuds with journalists, Musk called a diver involved with the rescue of a Thai children’s soccer team a “pedo” last month; an outburst that knocked four percent off Tesla’s value.
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