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Elon Musk considers taking Tesla private

Reuters logo Reuters 8/7/2018 Sonam Rai in Bengaluru

Elon Musk is considering taking Tesla private, the electric car maker's chief executive tweeted Tuesday. 

"Am considering taking Tesla private at $420. Funding secured," Musk wrote.

At $420 per share, a deal would represent a 22.8 percent premium to Tesla's closing price as of Monday, making it one of the biggest go-private deals, with a price tag of about $72 billion. 

Tesla's shares were up 6.5 percent at $363.46. The company had a market value of $58 billion as of Monday's close. Musk owns nearly 20 percent of the company. 

Separately, the Financial Times reported Tuesday that Saudi Arabia's sovereign wealth fund, overseen by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, has built an undisclosed stake of between 3 and 5 percent stake in Tesla. 

"I believe Tesla considers Tweets as public disclosure. I think he's serious. Plus this is short squeeze rocket fuel after a nice quarter," said analyst Chaim Siegel from Elazar Advisors. 

While Musk is known for making erratic tweets, he tweeted "420" in a reply to Fox Business anchor Liz Claman, following up on his initial tweet. The company did not immediately respond to request for comment. 

"If true, this would be an incredible and surprising development. We still would see risk to completion of such a deal," CFRA analyst Efraim Levy said. 

He is also under intense pressure to prove he can deliver consistent production numbers for the Model 3 sedan, Tesla's lowest-priced model and the key to its plans to become a mass-market automaker, after a host of manufacturing challenges and concerns it was burning cash too quickly.


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