Elon Musk Talked With SoftBank About Tesla Investment in 2017

Elon Musk Talked With SoftBank About Tesla Investment in 2017

Musk, on Tuesday, announced he was mulling buying the company out for $420 per share. A SoftBank spokesman declined to comment. In its statement, the board said the company's chief executive had "addressed the funding for this to occur".

Musk tweeted on Tuesday that he had secured funding for the plan, but he has not provided details or evidence, and several securities attorneys told Reuters that Musk could face investor lawsuits if it was proven he did not have secure financing at the time of his tweet.

The statement, issued by six of Tesla's nine-member board, suggests Musk's controversial tweets, which led to the company's stock being suspended from trading for a time on Tuesday, were less spontaneous than originally believed and not designed simply to punish Tesla stock short-sellers. But after the markets opened Wednesday morning, Tesla's stock edged downward about 1 percent, to $375.

Son and Musk met in April 2017 to discuss an investment in Tesla, the people said.

While Tesla's board of directors might approve Musk's idea of taking the automaker private, current shareholders have the final say.

It's also unclear how Musk came up with the $420 price. Many initially thought it was Elon Musk's attempt at a bad joke about marijuana, because "420" has always been associated with pot.

Musk laid out his reasoning for going private in an email to Tesla employees yesterday, which was subsequently posted on Tesla's website.

China's Tencent Holdings Ltd (0700.HK), which took a 5 percent stake in Tesla previous year, could also be a possible partner.

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In one email, Manafort wrote "WTF" and "not happy" about tax payments he was going to have to make, Gates said. Gates also said that he did not report 15 foreign offshore bank accounts to the government.

"Basically, I'm trying to accomplish an outcome where Tesla can operate at its best, free from as much distraction and short-term thinking as possible, and where there is as little change for all of our investors, including all of our employees, as possible".

Tesla's CEO also laid out what he envisions as the ideal path for going private.

Some on Wall Street shared that view.

"It's very hard to put leverage on this company", due to its negative cash flow and "operational issues", Scott said Wednesday on Bloomberg Television.

Most analysts were skeptical, but some said a deal could materialize if Musk succeeded in lining up the right funding.

Musk has been under intense pressure this year to turn his money-losing, debt-laden company into a profitable higher-volume manufacturer, a prospect that has sent Tesla's valuation higher than that of General Motors Co.

Also on Tuesday, the Financial Times reported that Saudi Arabia's public investment fund - a major backer of SoftBank's fund - had invested roughly $2 billion in Tesla for a stake representing 3% to 5% of the company. Musk explicitly notes that he does not intend to merge Tesla and SpaceX, and that the two companies will remain separate, even though the private-shareholder structure would be similar.

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