Elon Musk considers taking Tesla private in tweet, shares rise

Elon Musk considers taking Tesla private in tweet, shares rise

Elon Musk considers taking Tesla private in tweet, shares rise

Shares of Tesla were halted on Tuesday afternoon following CEO Elon Musk's Twitter message that he might take the company private - an announcement that blindsided Wall Street and led to questions about fraud. He said he may take the company private at $420 a share and already has secured funding. "Funding secured", Musk tweeted, following up with "good morning" and a smiley emoji. Mr. Musk has a history of joking on Twitter and sending erratic tweets. It would be one of the biggest go-private deals on record with a price tag of about $72 billion, based on $420 per share.

His asking price of $420 would be 22 percent of Monday's closing share price, and almost 9 percent above the stock's all-time closing high of $385.

In his tweet, Mr Musk said he could buy outstanding shares in the firm for $420 each, around a fifth higher than the share's current price.

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The tweets have added to speculation about Tesla, which is spending heavily as it ramps up production of its latest vehicle, the Model 3.

Tesla shares were last up 7.4 per cent at US$367.25. The stock had been up earlier in the day after The Financial Times reported a Saudi Arabian sovereign wealth fund had bought a $2 billion stake in Tesla.

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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