Elon Musk’s thinking about taking Tesla private, laid out in tweets

Elon Musk, Tesla’s chief executive officer, has since sent a series of tweets to elaborate on the idea that he might take the company private.

By: Bloomberg | Published: August 8, 2018 8:49:10 am
Elon Musk's thinking about taking Tesla private, laid out in tweets Tesla CEO Elon Musk (Source: AP)

It took Elon Musk a two-sentence tweet to set off a firestorm around Tesla Inc.

Musk, Tesla’s chief executive officer, has since sent a series of tweets to elaborate on the idea that he might take the company private. Here’s a collection of the billionaire’s follow-up posts.

While Musk owns a little less than 20 percent of Tesla’s shares, he was quickly asked if he would retain control over the company. The CEO set the record straight by explaining that he doesn’t have full control now.

Musk concurred in response to a Twitter user who said Tesla going private would be reminiscent of Dell Technologies Inc.’s move in October 2013 — and would save the electric-car company a lot of headaches.

Several users expressed concerns that Tesla investors would miss out on the upside if the company goes private. In a reply to one such user, Musk tried to alleviate those fears.

Musk also clarified the two options that he envisions awaiting shareholders in the event of the company going private.

Twitter users, investors and analysts alike questioned throughout the day whether Musk would remain head of the company. In this reply, he made clear that he has no plans to give up Tesla’s CEO spot.

One user asked — through several tweets — that Musk set up a provision for retail investors to convert their stake into private shares. Musk agreed with this request.

Read | For Elon Musk, an $82 Billion Gambit to Silence Tesla’s Critics

Musk confirmed to another user that investment in Tesla would still be possible if the company went private, but on a more limited basis.

One Twitter user responded to Musk’s tweet listing the possible options for shareholders — sell at the share price, or hold the shares and go private — by expressing concern that there would be a forced buyout. Musk clarified that this would not be the case.

After several hours of responding to tweets, Musk finally laid out his plan in a blog. He posted the blog on Twitter and company website and commented that he has investor support, and if the decision to take Tesla private didn’t depend on a shareholder vote, it would already be official.

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