SEC probes Tesla over Musk's tweet on taking company private

CEO and lead designer at SpaceX and co-founder of Tesla speaks at the International Space Station Research and Development Conference in Washington

SEC probes Tesla over Musk's tweet on taking company private

The board said only that Musk had "addressed the funding for this to occur".

A Tesla spokesperson declined to comment.

Musk announced the bombshell move Tuesday on Twitter, writing that he had secured funding to buy Tesla Inc.'s shares at $420 each. The SEC has previously ruled that using social media to disclose company news is OK, as along as investors have been told that those channels may be used.

The murkiness of the financing could turn into a legal mine field for Musk and Tesla, according to both Coffee and former SEC lawyer Pete Henning, now a law professor at Wayne State University. These reportedly include why the company decided to make such a major announcement on Twitter and if it believes "investor-protection rules had been met".

"Elon Musk argues that Tesla could do better without the distraction and short-termism of the public market".

Two of the potential stumbling blocks to Musk's plan include the stock price premium not being enough to get the existing shareholders on board to support the sale and coming up short on the announced funding to complete the transition. "The board has met several times over the last week and is taking the appropriate next steps to evaluate this".

Tesla CEO Elon Musk met with SoftBank CEO Masayoshi Son about taking the electric-car maker private past year, Bloomberg reports.

SoftBank is now not interested in a deal for Tesla after earlier this year taking a stake in General Motors Co's self-driving unit, Cruise, Reuters reported earlier.

The deal would be the biggest leveraged buyout of all time, beating the $45 billion record set by Texas power utility Energy Future Holdings. However, Musk expects the shareholders to agree with him and allow him to take the company private again.

Buying Tesla in its entirety would cost US$72b, based on the company's outstanding stock as of July 27.

Bloomberg's Selina Wang and Giles Turner reported that Musk and Son failed to reach an agreement over the structure of the company, citing sources.

Musk also wants Tesla's employees to remain shareholders. However, Musk is not one to be Twitter-shy, and his unexpected post sent Tesla's shares skyrocketing.

It seems to have gotten the better of the billionaire who has tweeted that he's considering taking the company private.

Scepticism about the legitimacy of Musk's proposed deal surfaced nearly immediately after Musk dropped the bombshell on his Twitter account a few hours after the stock market opened on Tuesday.

The company is still working its way out of what Mr Musk called "production hell" at its home factory in California, where a series of manufacturing challenges delayed the ramp-up of production of its new Model 3 sedan, on which the company's profitability rests.

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