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12 August 2018, 11:58 | Austin Hogan
The second was that Tesla's stock price spiked almost 40 dollars a share, from $342 to $380, which led to trading being halted on the stock. (Note: This might be a good time for me to give one of those disclaimers that I do not own, nor have I ever owned, Tesla shares).
It all began when Musk tweeted about a plan to take electric vehicle manufacturers Tesla private, signing off his message with the words: "Funding secured".
Now, several days later, CNBC reports thatthe board of directors at Tesla has scheduled a meeting with financial advisers next week to discuss the possible costs and benefits to actually following through on Musk's brash tweets.
For years, SpaceX has run an internal stock market for employees and other shareholders who have had the opportunity to buy or sell roughly every six months.
SEC enforcement attorneys in the San Francisco office were already gathering general information about Tesla's public pronouncements on manufacturing goals and sales targets, according to the people who asked not to be named because the review is private.
Saudi Arabia's Public Investment Fund (PIF) has taken a stake of less than 5 percent in Tesla, a source familiar with the matter said on Tuesday.
Mr Musk tweeted on Tuesday that he had secured funding for the plan, but he has not provided details or evidence.
Tesla didn't respond to requests for comment Wednesday.
Some Wall Street analysts were skeptical of Musk's ability to gather the huge financial backing to complete such a deal, given that Tesla loses money, has $10.9 billion of debt and its bonds are rated junk by credit ratings agencies. "And, if you stay as a shareholder, you have less information than before and you are depending more and more on Elon Musk". Elon Musk has a few things on his side such as excessive dry powder in private equity, a sizable personal stake in Tesla, and a relatively low interest rate environment.
Some are speculating the recent moves could all be part of a Musk plot to punish the short-sellers. Musk said via Twitter on Tuesday that the deal was contingent on a shareholder vote but that "investor support is confirmed".
Being a public company subjects Tesla to quarterly earnings cycles, which put pressure on the company's leadership to make short-term decisions rather than long-term, Musk said.
In turn, an internal Tesla market could encourage smaller investors to hold onto their stock, lowering the amount of money, which could be tens of billions, that Musk must raise for the buyout.
I don't tweet often and, for the life of me, I don't understand why serious people, in the most consequential positions, choose Twitter as their medium to communicate breaking news. That will make it more hard for companies to carry heavy debt loads - and taking Tesla private would means taking on a great deal of debt.
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