Tesla stock trading halted after Musk teases taking company private

Daniel Fowler
August 7, 2018

Tesla CEO Elon Musk tweeted on Tuesday that he was considering taking the company private, sending the stock up more than 5 percent.

"It's not easy to take a company that's losing money private", Galloway said. "Funding secured", Musk said in the tweet.

At a share price of $420, Tesla would be worth more than $70 billion.

Tesla did not immediately respond to a request for clarification.

- CBS News' Jillian Harding contributed reporting.

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When another person tweeted that going private "saves a lot of headaches", Musk replied, "Yes".

Tesla has not confirmed whether the tweet was real - or if the CEO's account was hacked. Musk owns approximately 20 percent of those outstanding shares, which would lower the price tag a bit, but it would still be pretty hefty.

Unlike publicly listed companies, private firms do not have to share details of their finances and operations.

The stock since settled at $366.94 before exchanges halted trading, pending an upcoming announcement from the company. I think he's serious.

Short interest in Tesla on Monday stood at almost $12 billion, equivalent to 28 percent of its float, according to S3 Partners, a financial analytics firm. If Musk were to make good on his tweet, it is unclear from where he could secure funding to buy out Tesla's shareholders. "Given his historic frustration with short sellers, analysts and certain parts of the press, it is perhaps also not surprising that he has given consideration to taking the company private", Galliers said.

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