Dateline: The Internet. 3:30 PM EST. Three hours ago Elon Musk tweeted that he was thinking about taking his company Tesla Motors private, a move that would be the largest leveraged buyout in history. More importantly, he also said he had the funding secured for this move. Trading of Tesla shares was halted at 2PM EST. Follow-up tweets from Musk’s verified Twitter account said that he would not sell his shares and that he would remain in his position as CEO.
Plan Floated to Pay $420/Share to Investors
When trading of shares of Tesla Motors (NASDAQ: TSLA)) was halted shares were trading at $367. In one of his tweets Musk said that the company would pay current shareholders a price of $20 per share, giving the company a valuation of $71.3 Billion. Musk then said that current investors that wanted to remain with the company could do when the company goes private and that a special fund would be established to help compensate them over time. This would emulate the business model currently being used by Musk’s SpaceX venture.
Musk also expressed his appreciation to long-term shareholders who have held their shares since prior to the beginning of 2017. He also mentioned that he would” ensure their prosperity in any scenario.”
Committee Rule for Private Tesla?
During his tweet thread today someone asked if he (Musk) would confirm that he would retain control of the company to which Musk replied that he doesn’t have a controlling vote in the company and he doesn’t expect a single person to either if the company goes private. Some have pointed out however that even though Musk currently has a Board of Directors (major shareholders) that he answers to, he pretty much does what he wishes and usually without consultation.