U.S. SEC examining Musk's tweets on taking Tesla private

Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk at a SpaceX press conference in Cape Canaveral Fla. on Feb. 6 2018. More

Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk at a SpaceX press conference in Cape Canaveral Fla. on Feb. 6 2018. More

Musk's tweet halted trading of the company's shares on Tuesday afternoon for 92 minutes, leaving Tesla investors in a frenzy.

The SEC declined to comment on the reports.

Elon Musk's tweets early on Tuesday caused plenty of speculation and controversy. Tesla's stock backtracked by more than 2 per cent to close at US$370.34. As a public company, we are subject to wild swings in our stock price that can be a major distraction for everyone working at Tesla, all of whom are shareholders.

The facility, which is expected to cost around US$5 billion, is seen as key to Musk's vision of tapping the Chinese market and finally making Tesla profitable.

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Six of nine members said in a prepared statement Wednesday that Musk began talking with the board about the move last week. However, Musk expects the shareholders to agree with him and allow him to take the company private again.

Tesla's board said it was evaluating taking the company private, which would be the biggest leveraged buyout of all time.

'Finally, as the most shorted stock in the history of the stock market, being public means that there are large numbers of people who have the incentive to attack the company. If the statement regarding having secured the funding for the move later proves unachievable, then Musk could be in hot water with regulators over the statements that he first made on Twitter.

Musk has promised to begin making money on a consistent basis starting in the third quarter, escalating the pressure that he has already publicly acknowledged has taken an enormous toll on him.

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"It's very clear that he doesn't like to deal with being a CEO of a public company, " said Gene Munster, a former stock market analyst who is now managing partner of investment fund Loup Ventures.

Former SEC chair Harvey Pitt told CNBC that while the USA stock market regulator permits executives of publicly listed companies to use social media to make statements about their businesses, Musk's tweet was still "highly unprecedented".

SoftBank is now not interested in a deal for Tesla after earlier this year taking a stake in General Motors Co's self-driving unit, Cruise, Reuters reported earlier on Wednesday. Alternatively, stockholders can hold on to their shares, which would become privately-traded. Tesla also would likely need to borrow billions more to help pay for its ambitious plans of its electric vehicle line and its battery manufacturing plants.

Last week, Tesla said in its second-quarter update it will generate positive profits and cash flow going forward absent a severe economic downturn.

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