Doubts grow over Elon Musk’s master plan to take Tesla private

Flags fly over the Tesla Inc. Gigafactory 2 which is also known as RiverBend a joint venture with Panasonic to produce solar panels and roof tiles in Buffalo New York

But the biggest motivator for Musk in taking the company private is viewed as the freedom to pursue larger long-term goals instead of short-term financial ones, and this includes his view of Tesla as one of the pieces in a larger puzzle that includes homeowner-controlled energy trading, solar energy accumulation and storage, and autonomous electric trucking.

Tuesday, Twitter and most of the rest of the internet freaked out over news that Elon Musk wanted to take Tesla private at $420 per share.

Other board members mentioned in the statement included Robyn Denholm, Ira Ehrenpreis, Antonio Gracias and Linda Johnson Rice.

The Tesla board responded to the proposal earlier Wednesday morning, indicating that it is evaluating things.

The most obvious equity partners for Musk would be a sovereign wealth fund such as Saudi Arabia's Public Investment Fund (PIF), which sources said on Tuesday had taken a stake of just below 5 percent in Tesla, or a major technology investment fund such as SoftBank Group Corp's Vision Fund, bankers said.

"Distraction or not, the move feels right even if Musk is downplaying how supportive public markets have been".

Shares of Tesla, up 1.6% in the past year, fell almost 1% in early trading Wednesday.

Tesla's stock has swung wildly in the past several years, hit by the company's production issues as well as Musk's own explosive remarks on Twitter that have turned off investors.

The statement by the board, published by NASDAQ, confirms that the proposal is under serious consideration.

Some Wall Street analysts were skeptical of Musk's ability to gather the huge financial backing to complete such a deal, given that Tesla loses money, has $10.9 billion of debt and its bonds are rated junk by credit ratings agencies. And as the stock price has climbed this year, so too have the bets against it.

Several members of Tesla's board issued a joint statement on the company's investor-relations site.

Of course, now that Musk has stated that he has secured the funds to do so, he may need to carry it out lest he face accusations of stock manipulation, according to FT, as the mere announcement of having the funds to take the company private caused Tesla stock to rise by 11 percent. The statement wasn't signed by Mr. Musk, his brother Kimbal Musk or the seventh independent director Steve Jurvetson, who is now on leave.

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