Tesla board says Musk started go-private talks last week

Tesla board says Musk started go-private talks last week

NEW YORK
Tesla board says Musk started go-private talks last week

Tesla Inc Chief Executive Elon Musk started talks with the company’s board last week about taking the electric car maker private, some board members said on Aug. 8.

“This included discussion as to how being private could better serve Tesla’s long-term interests, and also addressed the funding for this to occur,” the board members said, as quoted by Reuters.

Musk on Aug. 7 said that he was considering taking the loss-making company private at $420 a share.
At that price, the Tesla transaction would be worth more than $71 billion.

The board members said they had met several times last week with Musk and were evaluating the next steps.

The statement came from six board members, including James Murdoch, chief executive officer of Twenty First Century Fox and Brad Buss, who served as SolarCity’s Chief Financial Officer till 2016.

Other board members mentioned in the statement included Robyn Denholm, Ira Ehrenpreis, Antonio Gracias and Linda Johnson Rice. Tesla has nine board members, which also includes Musk, his brother Kimbal Musk, and venture capitalist Steve Jurvetson.

Several Wall Street analysts were skeptical about Musk’s ability to gather enough financial backing to complete the deal. But some said a deal could materialize if Musk succeeded in lining up the right funding.

Tesla’s shares were down 3 percent in early trading after closing up 11 percent at $379.57 on Aug. 7.
Musk has previously discussed possibly going private as a means to realize long-term growth and accomplish a goal that some Tesla acolytes embrace with near-messianic passion.

Supporters of Musk and the company view him as a visionary akin to Apple co-founder Steve Jobs, while critics have likened him to a “Wizard of Oz” like figure who has yet to turn a profit.

Tesla, Elon Musk, going private