Tesla CEO says company will remain public

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Tesla CEO Elon Musk announced late Friday that Tesla will remain public, despite saying earlier this month that he was considering taking the electric car company private.

Musk wrote in a blog post on Friday night that he met with Tesla’s board the previous day and “let them know that I believe the better path is for Tesla to remain public.”

“The Board indicated that they agree,” he wrote.


The car company executive said that based on feedback he has received in recent weeks “it’s apparent that most of Tesla’s existing shareholders believe we are better off as a public company.”

He explained that some shareholders said they would be limited in how much they could invest in Tesla if it were to become a private company, given internal compliance issues.

“There is also no proven path for most retail investors to own shares if we were private. 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 wrote.

Musk had previously suggested that it would be ideal to restructure the car company in the image of SpaceX, the commercial space entity that he founded, giving employees shares and allowing them to buy or sell them periodically

“Basically, I’m trying to accomplish an outcome where Tesla can operate at its best, free from as much distraction and short-term thinking as possible, and where there is as little change for all of our investors, including all of our employees, as possible,” Musk wrote earlier this month.

Musk’s tweet earlier this month that he was considering taking the company private drove up the company stock to $379 per share. It closed on Friday, hours before his announcement that the company would remain public, at around $322.

His earlier tweet, which suggested that there was funding to take the company private at $420 a share, has drawn scrutiny from federal regulators.

The Security and Exchange Commission ratcheted up an investigation into whether Musk misled investors with the tweet, which claimed “funding secured.”

Musk said Friday that the company must remain focused on production of its Model 3 vehicle “and becoming profitable.” 

“I knew the process of going private would be challenging, but it’s clear that it would be even more time-consuming and distracting than initially anticipated,” he wrote.

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