Tesla isn’t going private (but it had the funding to do so, Musk says)

Tesla Semi Truck

The on-again, off-again process of taking Tesla private has ended. Company co-founder and chief executive Elon Musk has decided to keep Tesla public after consulting three major banks, numerous investors, and the firm’s board of directors.

“Given the feedback I’ve received, it’s apparent that most of Tesla’s existing shareholders believe we are better off as a public company,” the executive wrote in a blog post published on the company’s official website. “Although the majority of shareholders I spoke to said they would remain with Tesla if we went private, the sentiment, in a nutshell, was ‘please don’t do this,'” he added. Members of Tesla’s board of directors share that sentiment.

Musk added going private would have consumed an enormous amount of time and resources that he’d rather allocate to more pressing issues like ramping up production of the Model 3 in a reliable and sustainable manner. And, since he’s not taking the company off the stock market, he also needs to keep the promise he made to investors of earning Tesla’s first-ever profit before the end of 2018. He previously stressed the firm is on track to meet its goal.

“We’ve shown that we can make great sustainable energy products, and we now need to show that we can be sustainably profitable. With all the progress we’ve made on Model 3, we’re positioned to do this, and that’s what the team and I are going to be putting all of our efforts toward,” Musk concluded.

The United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) still wants to investigate the thorny issue of whether Musk truly had secured funding when he trumpeted his plan to take Tesla private on Twitter. Saudi Arabia, the financial savior he pointed to when asked for clarification, has remained silent. Insiders claim the nation’s sovereign wealth fund is not interested in raising its stake in Tesla, which currently stands at about five percent, and will instead invest $1 billion in would-be rival Lucid Motors. We’re no closer to finding out where the money would have come from but Musk stresses it was there.

“My belief that there is more than enough funding to take Tesla private was reinforced during this process,” he wrote in the blog post.

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