March 22, 2017

Tesla to raise $1.15 billion ahead of Model 3 production

20 March 2017, 01:49 | Megan Pierce

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The sale of stock and convertible notes will reduce the near-term capital pressure on Tesla as Elon Musk prepares to launch the Model 3 mass-market electric vehicle later this year.

The Palo Alto, California-based company led by tech industrialist Elon Musk said in SEC filings on March 15 that it's selling almost 1 million shares, that may be worth at least $250 million, and offering at least $750 million of convertible notes due in 2022.

The company says the offerings will strengthen its balance sheet and reduce risks from scaling up to produce the US$35,000 Model 3 electric vehicle starting in July.

The stock closed during normal trading hours at $255.73 a share, down $2.27 for the day, then jumped 2.2% to $261.40. The company is offering $250M in common stock and $750M in convertible notes. If underwriters exercise their option to purchase additional shares in full, the total raise would be $1.15 billion.

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It's worth pointing out, however, that Tesla founder and CEO Elon Musk believes that transaction prices of the new Tesla compact SUVs will be higher because buyers would likely add more options to their cars.

Tesla stock is, far more surprisingly, soaring on the dilution news, perhaps because, instead of raising the entire $1+ billion in the form of equity, TSLA managed to issue parts of it as a convert.

When Lucid unveiled the Air late previous year, it said a 100-kilowatt-hour battery pack offering 315 miles of range, and a 130-kwh pack affording 400 miles of range would be offered.

The company is preparing for the fastest growth period it has experienced as they prepare to launch the Model 3. The interest rate, conversion price and other terms were yet to be determined. Morningstar expected Tesla to raise $3 billion to fund Musk's ambitions. The Model 3 went into a short test production run in February, and on track for productuon start in July.

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