SAN FRANCISCO • Tesla CEO Elon Musk is no longer seeking a $ 72 billion ($ 98 billion) deal to privatize his US electric car manufacturer, abandoning an idea that has stunned investors and drew regulatory issues.
The decision of last Friday leaves Tesla as a listed company, but raises new questions about its future. The company's shares were traded below their 7 Aug level, when Mr. Musk on Twitter announced that he was considering taking Tesla privately for US $ 420 per share, as investors wondered what the long-awaited bid meant for the assets of the company. Mr. Musk to send the company profitability.
The decision also allowed Musk and Tesla to ward off a series of lawsuits against investors and an investigation by the US Securities and Exchange Commission into the factual accuracy of Musk's earlier tweet that the funding for the deal was "secured."
"Although the majority of the shareholders I spoke to said they would stay with Tesla if we were going to be private, sentiment was, in a nutshell," please do not do this "," the president of Tesla wrote in a blog post last Friday.
Mr. Musk, who owns about one-fifth of Tesla, had said earlier this month that he intended to take the company privately without using the standard method of a leveraged buyout, with all other shareholders paying off and the deal mainly with new financing. financed. debt.
Instead, according to his estimate, two-thirds of shareholders would have chosen an option to "roll out" their interests and continue to invest in a private company instead of paying out.
This would significantly reduce the amount of money required for the privatization contract and prevent a further tax on Tesla, with a US $ 11 billion debt and a negative cash flow.
But Mr. Musk said on Friday that some institutional shareholders had told him that they have internal compliance issues that limit how much they can invest in a private company. He added that for most private investors there is no proven path to owning shares where Tesla would go private.