Tesla weighs up the option of going private

Posted Aug 14, 2018 by Tim Sandle
Technology firm Tesla is weighing up whether to retreat back from being a public company and to go back to being a private company. For this Elon Musk needs some wealthy backers, possibly from Saudi Arabia.
The Model 3 is Tesla s third-generation car. Image taken at Wesfield  London.
The Model 3 is Tesla's third-generation car. Image taken at Wesfield, London.
As Engadget reports, the Tesla board has formed an independent group to explore going private. This follows on from a tweet from Elon Musk last week that his aim was to take the technology company away from scrutiny and fully into private hands. Musk's tweet went: "Am considering taking Tesla private at $420. Funding secured."
Musk, who owns 20 percent of Tesla, then followed this short announcement with an internal email. The note to his employees clarifies that while a final decision has yet to be made, he thinks there are strong reasons for thinking a private Tesla operates better than a public one. The BBC speculates that by de-listing the company from the stock market, Musk would avoid the growing pressure to meet quarterly financial targets.
In the message Musk writes: "I fundamentally believe that we are at our best when everyone is focused on executing, when we can remain focused on our long-term mission, and when there are not perverse incentives for people to try to harm what we’re all trying to achieve."
In response, to its CEO, the electric carmaker said it had created a special committee of three directors to evaluate any such proposal. The special committee is composed of Brad Buss, Robyn Denholm and Linda Johnson Rice.
This was followed by Musk seeking to justify his position by saying that he had met the Saudi sovereign wealth fund after it bought a 5 percent stake in the company. He later added that the Saudi fund had approached him "multiple times" since the start of last year about taking the company private.