Elon Musk says taking Tesla private is 'best path forward'

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Technology dynamo Elon Musk announced Tuesday that he may take Tesla private, sending the Internet into a spiral of speculation about whether he was actually legit.

Former SEC chairman Harvey Pitt spoke up about the matter to CNBC, noting that Musk's tweet "might constitute fraud if any of the facts he disclosed are not true" or if there's any indication that his tweet was sent for the goal of boosting Tesla's stock price by soliciting investor hope.

The disclosure initially raised questions whether the eccentric Musk was joking, but he then amplified on his plan in a subsequent tweet that said he meant to create a special fund that would allow all current Tesla shareholders to retain a stake in the vehicle maker if they want.

Tesla did not immediately respond to a request for confirmation or clarification.

Musk has every incentive to try to either drive up the stock price or eliminate the need for public reporting on sales and finances by taking the company private.

But it was not clear how seriously to take the post, given Mr Musk's history on the social media service.

If the company were to go private, Musk said neither he, nor any current shareholder, would have a controlling vote in the new system.

Trading was then halted on the stock market around 2 pm EST according to The Washington Post.

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He promised that Tesla shareholders would be able to keep their shares if desired, and that Tesla employees could continue to sell shares and exercise options.

Forward-looking: Taking Tesla private could solve a lot of headaches for Musk but it wouldn't be cheap. Musk owns almost 20pc of the company.

Musk - the company's top investor, with more than 20 percent of its shares - has long waged war against the short sellers betting the company's value will plummet.

He added that he hoped all shareholders would remain and that all Tesla employees would "remain shareholders of the company". He implied the funding values the company at $420 a share.

His missive came minutes after the Financial Times reported that Saudi Arabia's Public Investment Fund had built an undisclosed stake of 3 per cent to 5 per cent this year, citing people with direct knowledge of the matter it didn't identify.

"I believe Tesla considers Tweets as public disclosure". I think he's serious.

"I can't believe this is something to bluff or make fun of", said George Galliers of Evercore ISI.

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