Tesla board forms committee to consider going private


Elon Musk is moving forward with his plan to take Tesla private.

Musk tweeted on Monday that he was working with buyout firm Silver Lake and investment bank Goldman Sachs Group as financial advisers.

Musk disclosed on Monday that he had been in talks with Saudi Arabia's sovereign wealth fund and other potential investors on a plan that would delist Tesla from the stock market. In the very structured post, which you can read in full in the document attached below, Musk explains why he chose to make the announcement on Twitter and confirmed that it was the Saudi's he was referring to when talking about funding.

Saudi Arabia's Public Investment Fund (PIF) manages more than $230 billion in assets, but about 65 percent of that is stakes in large Saudi companies and most of the rest has been committed in overseas deals such as funding commitments to Blackstone Group LP's USA infrastructure fund or SoftBank Group Corp's Vision Fund.

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Discussions have continued this month, Musk wrote, while adding the caveat that the deal remained "subject to financial and other due diligence and their internal review process for obtaining approvals".

The company Tuesday said the committee hasn't received a formal proposal about a possible deal to go private.

Yasir Othman al-Rumayyan, managing director of the PIF, when contacted, referred Reuters to the corporate communications team. Musk said his decision to announce his negotiations publicly was in the interest of all investors, as it wouldn't have been fair to only tell the largest share holders.

Meanwhile, Musk faces scrutiny of his tweet on secured funding.

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A link between Musk's tweet and the Saudi involvement was soon made as the CEO's announcement ended with the "funding secured" phrase.

The board has given the committee authority to act on its behalf, including negotiating a deal to take Tesla private. Musk wrote that he tweeted the plan August 7 after "it was clear to me that the right thing to do was announce my intentions publicly".

He added that most capital for the deal would come from equity and it would not be "wise" to burden the company with added debt. At least two lawsuits seeking to become a class action also have been filed against Tesla, alleging Musk broke securities laws by making it sound like all the financing for the buyout had been lined up.

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