Monday, 24 September, 2018


Tesla Special Committee to Evaluate Possibility of Taking Company Private

Saudi Arabia,Tesla,Uber Tesla looking to go private with backing of Saudi fund
Conrad Doyle | 14 August, 2018, 22:49

The committee will be tasked with evaluating Musk's proposal, should it materialize.

Musk on Monday gave his most detailed vision of how a take-private deal could work, but shares ended flat, indicating investor skepticism. They had closed at $376.57 on Tuesday after jumping 11 percent on Musk's announcement.

Musk has since attempted to calm things down by issuing a blog post Monday in which he expressed confidence that conversations with a Saudi sovereign wealth fund can lead to a deal. Tesla has a market capitalization of $60 billion, bigger than Detroit rivals General Motors Co (GM.N) or Ford Motor Co (F.N), who produce far more cars.

The committee has the authority to evaluate and negotiate a potential deal, or any alternatives proposed by Mr. Musk, on the board's behalf, Tesla said.

Musk said on Monday he expects two-thirds of existing Tesla shareholders would roll over into a private company, but said he was in talks with major shareholders about his proposal.

It added that no transaction would be consummated without the approval of the special committee. Anything is possible from pulling something together to nothing. But Musk said he was also talking to other investors because he wanted to "continue to have a broad investor base".

Musk has yet to convince Wall Street analysts and investors that he can find the billions needed to complete the deal. These comments sparked suspicion that Musk could be manipulating the stock price of Tesla, unless he was stating facts, and this suspicion in turn prompted the revelation.

Mr Musk's tweet earlier this month had said "funding secured", raising questions about where the financing for any deal might come from. According to Musk, the tweet followed a meeting with Saudi Arabia's Public Investment Fund.

But a source said Silver Lake was offering its assistance to Musk without compensation and had not been hired as a financial adviser in an official capacity.

A Tesla sales and service centre is shown in Costa Mesa, California, US. Musk allegedly admitted that he "was angry at the company's critics".

Denholm, the first woman to join Tesla's board, is chief operations officer of telecom firm Telstra and the ex-CFO of network gear maker Juniper Networks.

Embattled electric vehicle manufacturer Tesla racked up its third class-action suit, filed today in California's Northern District Court, stemming from freakish and potentially unfounded tweets sent last week by CEO Elon Musk.

One director, Steve Jurvetson, is now on leave of absence following allegations of sexual harassment.

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

Latham and Watkins LLP has been retained by the committee as its legal counsel.

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