Tesla take-private skepticism grows after Elon Musk's funding claim

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Tesla Inc Chief Executive Officer Elon Musk'splan to take the electric auto maker private raised doubts among Wall Street analysts about the billionaire' s ability to gather enough financial backing to complete the deal.

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"Last week, Elon opened a discussion with the board about taking the company private".

Tesla said on Wednesday the discussions had addressed the issue of how to fund such a deal, but gave no details.

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The board had "met several times over the last week" to discuss going private, the statement said.

Musk took Tesla shareholders and the stock market by surprise on Tuesday by announcing on Twitter he was considering taking the loss-making electric car-maker private at $420 U.S. a share.

Tesla's shares were down less than one per cent at $376.31 United States in morning trading on Wednesday after closing up 11 per cent at $379.57 USA on Tuesday.

The stock is far below the $420 price at which Musk said shareholders would be bought out. Among these issues, short-sellers have especially posed a continuous problem for Tesla, and it's no surprise Musk would like to put an end to the roller coaster that their actions can cause, with him highlighting the view that Tesla is one of most shorted companies on Wall Street.

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Trading in Tesla was halted for an hour and a half on Tuesday afternoon, by which time the stock had soared to $370. Tesla is a legendary cash-burner, with roughly $10 billion in debts and $2 billion in reserves, and Musk would probably need in the tens of billions of dollars to buy out shareholders at the right price.

"Just because" Musk wants it at $420 "doesn't mean that there aren't other people who might be willing to come in with another transaction that would be more beneficial to shareholders", Pitt said.

"They're being bombarded with questions that we don't think are as relevant to the long-term value of the company", said Sam Korus, an analyst for ARK Investment Management, which had 443,874 Tesla shares as of June 30. And as the stock price has climbed this year, so too have the bets against it.

The statement was not from the company's full board of directors.

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