By Chris Morris
August 8, 2018

Elon Musk is serious enough in his publicly-stated interest about taking Tesla private that the board of directors has already discussed the matter several times.

Six members of Tesla’s board of directors issued a statement Wednesday, acknowledging that discussions have been ongoing since last week about going private. Musk, on Tuesday, announced he was mulling buying the company out for $420 per share.

“Last week, Elon opened a discussion with the board about taking the company private,” the board members wrote. “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 has met several times over the last week and is taking the appropriate next steps to evaluate this.”

The statement was not from the company’s full board of directors. Rather, it was attributed to Brad Buss, Robyn Denholm, Ira Ehrenpreis, Antonio Gracias, Linda Johnson Rice, and James Murdoch.

Tesla has been a polarizing company on Wall Street, and Musk’s interactions with analysts have often been contentious. In announcing his consideration of taking the company private, Musk said he had already secured the necessary funding. The company’s stock soared on the announcement.

In a letter Tuesday to Tesla employees, Musk added “a final decision has not yet been made, but the reason for doing this is all about creating the environment for Tesla to operate best. … As the most shorted stock in the history of the stock market, being public means that there are large numbers of people who have the incentive to attack the company.”

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