Elon Musk isn't kidding, Tesla board confirms TSLA could go private

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Musk tweeted on Tuesday that he would like to leave public markets at $420 per share - a 20% upside to their price that day.

They said this "included discussion as to how being private could better serve Tesla's long-term interests". The talks touched on taking Tesla private, but failed to progress due to disagreements over ownership.

It's unclear if Musk has misled investors, let alone whether he has done so intentionally. If not, it could amount to idle chatter, perhaps aimed at boosting the company's stock price.

Musk later clarified in a blog post that "a final decision has not yet been made", while touting the benefits of running a private company away from the "enormous pressure" of Wall Street's quarterly earnings cycle.

The company, which is losing money and burning through cash reserves, has not revealed how it plans to raise more than $70bn it needs to offer shareholders the $420 per share that Musk indicated.

Musk also wants Tesla's employees to remain shareholders.

An acquisition of Palo Alto, California-based Tesla by overseas investors would likely trigger a national-security review by the Committee on Foreign Investment in the U.S. The panel, which has stepped up its scrutiny and blocked some deals lately, could impose conditions, including limits on control of the company and information sharing.

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Musk has promised a sustained net profit starting in the third quarter.

"I suspect the corporate lawyers are scrambling right now and hoping the SEC doesn't go after him and the company, because it could be viewed as a statement from Tesla", Peter Henning, a professor at Wayne State University Law School specializing in securities law, explained to the Detroit Free Press regarding Musk's tweet on Tuesday.

China's Tencent Holdings Ltd, which took a 5-percent stake in Tesla previous year, could also be a possible partner. "How could Tesla possibly fund such a large transaction?"

Musk is already CEO of another private company: SpaceX.

Yesterday, Tesla CEO Elon Musk tweeted about potentially taking his company private again to expand long-term planning and, probably, to "own the shorts". It was pretty quick and seemed to handle well enough.

The whole thing isn't yet set in stone because it must be put to a shareholder vote. "Either way, the future is very bright, and we'll keep fighting to achieve our mission". He suggested he did in an initial tweet, but so far Tesla hasn't disclosed any sources of financing, and no one has stepped forward publicly to say they're backing the plan. But after the markets opened Wednesday morning, Tesla's stock edged downward about 1 percent, to $375.

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