Elon Musk Weighs Taking Tesla Private in a Tweet, Shares Go Soaring

The Chicago announcement is the first time a major US city is willing to bank on Elon Musk's vision of the future of mass transit

"Funding secured", Musk said on Twitter. Should the funding disclosure turn out not to be true, it could be viewed as "misleading", he warned.

In a subsequent blog posted on Tesla's website, Musk said that while no final decision had been made, "the reason for doing this is all about creating the environment for Tesla to operate best".

Trading for Tesla stock was re-activated fifteen minutes before the closing bell was rung, and the automaker closed the day up 12 percent, realizing a massive $6 billion+ appreciation in market capitalization.

That left the market capitalisation of Tesla, which has been experiencing production difficulties and recently asked suppliers to refund some payments, at around $64bn.

Musk has been in a very public battle with these shorts for years. According to MarketWatch, a buyout to make Tesla a private company would be the largest in history, costing $72 billion excluding debt.

In July, Model 3 - that comes with a base price tag of $35,000 - not only had the top market share position in its segment in the USA, but it also outsold all other mid-sized premium sedans combined - accounting for 52 per cent of the segment overall.

But more recently Mr. Musk seemed to be turning things around. He said in his letter to employees he did not seek to expand his ownership. It was stake of about $1.9 billion to $3.1 billion, or 3-5 percent of Tesla shares, at current share prices. In the same article from Bloomberg, Munster said "our guess is there is a 1 in 3 chance that he can actually pull this off". This would enable you to still share in the growing value of the company that you have all worked so hard to build over time. He says the move could be structured so that so that all shareholders will have a choice to remain investors in the private company or sell their stock for $420 (£324.58 / €362.11) per share.

He made no mention in his tweets nor his letter where the funding for a deal would come from, and the letter did not discuss funding for the plan.

Now the question is, is this a similar move, taking the pressure off the public performance that Musk disdains each quarter, combined with some hubris over decimating the multitude of short positions.

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Trading in the stock was halted not long after Musk's tweet, with shares changing hands at $366.94, a rise of more than 7% on the day.

At that price, the Tesla transaction would be worth more than US$71 billion.

Such foreign sources of capital would be subject to scrutiny by the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS), which looks closely at deals for potential national security risks.

CNBC quoted a former US Securities and Exchange Commission chair as saying that Musk's surprise announcement was "highly unprecedented... and raises significant questions about what his intent was".

Tesla alerted investors in a 2013 SEC filing that they should follow Musk's Twitter feed for "additional information" about the company.

Musk does not share Wall Street's focus on profits and quarterly performance and is notoriously thin-skinned when it comes to criticism from analysts and investors.

"I believe Tesla considers Tweets as public disclosure,"said analyst Chaim Siegel from Elazar Advisers. Plus this is short squeeze rocket fuel after a nice quarter", said analyst Chaim Siegel from Elazar advisers".

Tesla chief executive Elon Musk is gearing up to lead a buyout of the electric vehicle maker in a stunning move that would end the maverick company's eight-year history trading on the stock market.

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