Monday 10 December 2018

Musk says Goldman on board for his Tesla plans

Tesla CEO Elon Musk. Photo: Reuters
Tesla CEO Elon Musk. Photo: Reuters

Angus Whitley and Dana Hull

Elon Musk has continued to drip feed details of his controversial plan to take Tesla private, saying that he's getting advice from Goldman Sachs and private-equity firm Silver Lake.

In a tweet late on Monday California time, the electric-car maker's CEO said he's also lined up legal advisers for the possible transaction. A Tesla spokesman said Musk's tweet refers to his own advisers and attorneys. Tesla board members didn't immediately respond to requests for comment.

Controversy has swirled around Musk's plan since the moment he announced it in a tweet a week ago, with some investors and lawyers questioning his claim to have secured funding for the move.

Musk's tweet about taking Tesla private hadn't been cleared ahead of time with the company's board, the 'New York Times' reported, and the Securities and Exchange Commission is scrutinising his statements, including: "I'm excited to work with Silver Lake and Goldman Sachs as financial advisers, plus Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz and Munger, Tolles & Olson as legal advisers, on the proposal to take Tesla private."

On Monday, Musk revealed that Saudi Arabia has long been interested in taking Tesla private, which gave him the confidence last week to tweet that he was considering the blockbuster deal.

He also confirmed the country's Public Investment Fund recently bought an almost 5pc stake.

The posts prolong Musk's piecemeal approach to explaining how he'll pull off a privatisation of his money-losing carmaker at a more than $70bn market capitalisation. He's used social media to sporadically update investors stuck in an information vacuum.

Adding to potential confusion, Reuters reported that Silver Lake is offering its assistance to Musk without compensation. Silver Lake hasn't been hired as a financial adviser in an official capacity and isn't currently discussing participating in the deal as an investor, Reuters said. Goldman Sachs declined to comment, and Silver Lake didn't respond to requests for comment.

(Bloomberg)

Irish Independent

Business Newsletter

Read the leading stories from the world of Business.

Also in Business