Elon Musk tweets he is taking Tesla private at $US420

Elon Musk

Tesla shares were halted from trading at $367.25 United States dollars per share shortly after 2:00 pm for more than an hour after Musk's tweets.

Musk has long regretted the need to take Tesla public in 2010, and now he appears to be poised to do something about it.

Earlier today, I announced that I'm considering taking Tesla private at a price of $420/share.

Mr Musk later brought some clarity to the situation in an email to Tesla employees that was also posted on Tesla's blog. It has lost money on an operating basis every year since it went public and it's been burning through billions of dollars as it's ironed out production issues with its Model 3 sedan.

Tesla stock over the past year has traded as high as $390 per share, and as low as $245 per share.

In his tweets, Musk said he would keep his Tesla shares no matter what happens, and noted that he now doesn't hold a controlling interest in the company. With approximately 170 million outstanding shares, Musk's proposed privatization of the company at $420 per share would require $71.4 billion, about a 17 percent increase.

"I fundamentally believe that we are at our best when everyone is focused on executing, when we can remain focused on our long-term mission, and when there are not perverse incentives for people to try to harm what we're all trying to achieve", he said.

He also said he would not sell his stake. The company had a market value of $58 billion as of Monday's close.

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The BBC has been unable to verify the post was written by Mr Musk himself, but it has pushed the shares 6% higher.

It's not clear how and with whom the company has secured funding, or when the company will begin the formal process of buying up shares and taking itself off the NASDAQ stock exchange.

Going private is one way to avoid the intense scrutiny of the market.

During a conference call in May, Mr. Musk shut down questions from analysts, calling them "boring" and spent much of the time talking to an investor who runs a YouTube channel, prompting an after-market sell-off of Tesla's shares.

Earlier in the day, the Financial Times reported that Saudi Arabia's sovereign wealth fund, overseen by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, has built an undisclosed stake of between 3 and 5 per cent stake in Tesla. He added that in the future, when Tesla reached a "phase of slower, more predictable growth", the firm could go public again. To take it private, the billionaire would have to pull off the largest leveraged buyout in history, surpassing Texas electric utility TXU's in 2007.

FILE PHOTO: Elon Musk, founder, CEO and lead designer at SpaceX and co-founder of Tesla, speaks at the International Space Station Research and Development Conference in Washington, U.S., July 19, 2017.

Finally, this has nothing to do with accumulating control for myself.

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