Elon Musk was nagged by lingering doubts and unexpected difficulties for his plan to take Tesla Inc. private, which led to his surprise announcement late Friday night that the electric-car maker would remain a public company, the Wall Street Journal reported Sunday.
Musk, Tesla’s chief executive, told the board of directors Thursday that he was no longer pursuing the deal, the Journal said.
While Musk believed he had enough funding available to go private, the buyout would have forced out some of his most supportive mutual-fund investors, potentially to be replaced by rival car-makers, the Journal reported, and it would likely have replaced small investors — many of whom were electric-car fanatics — with larger, institutional investors.
Musk told the Journal that it was unlikely Tesla would try — or be able — to go private in the future.
In an article that detailed how Musk’s go-private plan unraveled, the Journal said “Musk seemed to view such a complex corporate transaction as an engineering problem he could solve,” but eventually soured on the strings that would be attached to private investments.
Tesla’s board, which was wary of the go-private plan to begin with, was apparently relieved when Musk scuttled it, with one board member saying “Woohoo,” the Journal reported.
Read the complete report: Public bravado, private doubts: Inside the unraveling of Elon Musk’s Tesla buyout
Musk is still reportedly under investigation by the Securities and Exchange Commission for possibly misleading investors about having “funding secured” to go private.
Tesla stock TSLA, +0.85% soared 11% to $379.57 on Aug. 7, the day Musk tweeted about his plan, but closed Friday at $322.82, down almost 6% over that period. The stock is up 3.7% year to date, compared to the S&P 500’s SPX, +0.62% 7.5% rise.
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