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Tesla would remain a publicly-traded company, says Elon Musk

Elon Musk has decided to keep Tesla as a publicly-traded company. Musk’s decision was outlined in a blog post posted on Tesla’s official website Friday night.

Musk noted that the feedback he received from his go-private initiative denotes that a significant number of Tesla shareholders believe that the company is better off in the public market. Apart from this, he also noted that the process of going private would likely be even more time-consuming and distracting than he initially anticipated. Musk further noted that right now, it is best for Tesla to focus on the Model 3 ramp and pursuing profitability.

The decision to keep Tesla private was related to the company’s Board of Directors yesterday. Musk stated that the Board indicated that they agree with his decision.

Here is Elon Musk’s full update about keeping Tesla as a publicly-traded company.

Staying Public

Elon Musk August 24, 2018

Earlier this month, I announced that I was considering taking Tesla private. As part of the process, it was important to understand whether our current investors believed this would be a good strategic move and whether they would want to participate in a private Tesla.

Our investors are extremely important to me. Almost all have stuck with us from the time we went public in 2010 when we had no cars in production and only a vision of what we wanted to be. They believe strongly in our mission to advance sustainable energy and care deeply about our success.

I worked with Silver Lake, Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley, who have world-class expertise in these matters, to consider the many factors that would come into play in taking Tesla private, and to process all the incoming interest that we received from investors to fund a go-private transaction. I also spent considerable time listening to current shareholders, large and small, to understand what they think would be in the best long-term interests of Tesla.

Based on all the discussions that have taken place over the last couple of weeks and a thorough consideration of what is best for the company, a few things are clear to me:

  • Given the feedback I’ve received, it’s apparent that most of Tesla’s existing shareholders believe we are better off as a public company. Additionally, a number of institutional shareholders have explained that they have internal compliance issues that limit how much they can invest in a private company. 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.”
  • 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. This is a problem because we absolutely must stay focused on ramping Model 3 and becoming profitable. We will not achieve our mission of advancing sustainable energy unless we are also financially sustainable.
  • That said, my belief that there is more than enough funding to take Tesla private was reinforced during this process.

After considering all of these factors, I met with Tesla’s Board of Directors yesterday and let them know that I believe the better path is for Tesla to remain public. The Board indicated that they agree.

Moving forward, we will continue to focus on what matters most: building products that people love and that make a difference to the shared future of life on Earth. We’ve shown that we can make great sustainable energy products, and we now need to show that we can be sustainably profitable. With all the progress we’ve made on Model 3, we’re positioned to do this, and that’s what the team and I are going to be putting all of our efforts toward.

Thank you to all of our investors, customers and employees for the support you’ve given our company. I’m incredibly excited to continue leading Tesla as a public company. It is a privilege.

Members of Tesla’s Board of Directors — Brad Buss, Robyn Denholm, Ira Ehrenpreis, Antonio Gracias, Linda Johnson Rice, and James Murdoch — have also issued a statement about Elon Musk’s decision to pull his efforts for Tesla’s possible privatization. Following is the Board’s statement.

“Over the past several weeks, we put in place a process led by a Special Committee of the Board to evaluate a proposal Elon was considering to take Tesla private. Yesterday, we held a Board meeting, during which Elon reported on the work he and his advisors have been doing in connection with this effort. Elon communicated to the Board that after having done this work and considered all factors, he believes the better path is to no longer pursue a transaction for taking Tesla private. After discussing this, we dissolved the Special Committee. The Board and the entire company remain focused on ensuring Tesla’s operational success, and we fully support Elon as he continues to lead the company moving forward.”

Tesla would remain a publicly-traded company, says Elon Musk
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