Tesla CEO Elon Musk tweeted another piece of incorrect information Tuesday that could potentially cause more headaches for the company as the 15-year-old automaker prepares to go private.
Analysts and regulators dinged the tech billionaire for telling his Twitter followers in an Aug. 10 tweet that the company had “funding secured” to go private. Some argued Musk was trolling, while others worry the missive could land him afoul of financial regulators. His newest tweet adds to those concerns because they could put Tesla in a tight spot
“I’m excited to work with Silver Lake and Goldman Sachs as financial advisors, plus Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz and Munger, Tolles & Olson as legal advisors, on the proposal to take Tesla private,” Musk wrote in an Aug. 13 post. Unfortunately neither Goldman nor Silver Lake are financial advisers to Tesla, according to a report Tuesday from Axios.
Update on Taking Tesla Privatehttps://t.co/AR6VKETrPn
— Tesla (@Tesla) August 13, 2018
Silver Lake, a tech-focused private equity, is providing unpaid and informal consulting services to Musk, sources told Axios. Goldman Sachs, meanwhile, is simply considering whether to provide the company’s beleaguered executive with funding necessary to take Tesla private. (RELATED: What Happens To Tesla Devotees If Musk Takes The Company Private?)
His initial tweet announcing the plan led financial regulators to open a probe. It also followed an Aug. 10 report suggesting Saudi Arabia became a major Tesla shareholder earlier in 2018. Musk used ongoing discussions with the Saudi wealth fund as justification for the announcement.
Saudi’s Public Investment Fund (PIF) bought up 5 percent of the electric vehicle maker’s shares in 2018, sources told the Financial Times. The PIF’s position is worth between $1.7 billion and $2.9 billion at Tesla’s current share price. The stake makes the fund one of Tesla’s eight biggest shareholders.
The Security and Exchange Commission asked the company if Musk’s announcement was factual. Regulators want to know why the disclosure was made on Twitter, not to mention whether the company believes the tweet complies with investor-protection rules. Not everyone who currently holds shares will be able to move into the private side — there are different tiers of shareholders.
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