Damage Control Mode
Elon Musk, the electric-car maker’s co-founder and chief executive, stirred up a public storm by announcing on Twitter last week that he wanted to turn Tesla into a private company. In recent days, according to people familiar with the matter, some of his fellow board members delivered a stern message: Stop tweeting.
Mr. Musk hasn’t heeded that advice. He has continued to post messages on Twitter, publicly plotting the company’s strategy and in some cases making assertions of dubious accuracy. That has only added to the chaos engulfing the struggling company.
Tesla has also been plagued by operational problems and it has struggled to meet Mr. Musk’s production targets for the Model 3 sedan, the company’s first mass-market offering and a vehicle he has said is crucial to company’s ability to become profitable.
Board members’ frustrations have intensified in recent days.
Directors were upset that Mr. Musk’s tweets forced them to rush out a public statement explaining a transaction that was at an embryonic stage, according to people familiar with the thinking of board members.
Neither Goldman nor Silver Lake — a private-equity firm focused on technology investments — had actually signed on with Tesla or Mr. Musk to play those roles, according to people familiar with the matter.
On Tuesday, Goldman was in talks with Tesla about a possible role, but had not finalized anything. Silver Lake, meanwhile, is interested in investing in any going-private deal, but it isn’t acting in a paid advisory capacity.
Why did I say “funding secured”?
Going back almost two years, the Saudi Arabian sovereign wealth fund has approached me multiple times about taking Tesla private. They first met with me at the beginning of 2017 to express this interest because of the important need to diversify away from oil. They then held several additional meetings with me over the next year to reiterate this interest and to try to move forward with a going private transaction. Obviously, the Saudi sovereign fund has more than enough capital needed to execute on such a transaction.
Sorry Elon, that won't wash. Someone having a possible interest and actually agreeing to do it are two different things.
There's one way to keep him quite. Send him to prison and take away his computer.
What's it All About?
Musk desperately needs to keep share price over a convertible bonds strike price of $360.
Mike "Mish" Shedlock