Elon Musk’s "taking Tesla private" tweets attract official SEC subpoena

Marco Green
August 18, 2018

Musk stunned investors and sent Tesla's shares soaring 11% when he tweeted early last week that he was considering taking Tesla private at $420 per share and that he had secured funding for the potential deal.

Tesla's share price fell down 2.6 percent to $338.69 on August 15, following news of the subpoena, lower than the share price the day prior to Musk's tweet.

Tesla is now a public company and has been under pressure to meet production goals for its Model 3 electric vehicle despite facing production challenges.

The Commission is interested in whether Mask had any actual grounds for such statements, and the SEC intends to find out why such important information was provided to them publicly, via the social network.

Earlier this week, Musk said his funding claims referred to conversations with the Saudi sovereign wealth fund, which he said had approached him "multiple times" about taking the electric auto company private.

The subpoena signals regulators have now opened a formal investigation into whether Musk was telling the truth in his tweet.

Martin Tripp, who Tesla fired after accusing him of industrial sabotage, has spent the better part of the past month waging a campaign against the company.

TechCrunch has reached out to Tesla for comment on the tweeted images.

The "Saudi sovereign fund has more than enough capital needed to execute on such a transaction", he suggested. The tweet followed news that a Saudi investment fund had acquired a minority share in the business.

More Money: Priced out of the market? If his claim proves to be untrue, Musk may be in violation of United States securities law. Goldman Sachs is taking steps to be added as a financial advisor, and private equity firm Silver Lake is helping out with the transition, according to the New York Times.

Tesla's board of directors on Tuesday announced a special committee had been formed to study "proposals" to go private.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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