Elon Musk Says He Won’t Take Tesla Private After All

“I met with Tesla’s Board of Directors yesterday and let them know that I believe the better path is for Tesla to remain public”

Last Updated: August 25, 2018 @ 12:29 AM

Assuming you can afford them, it looks like you’ll be able to buy shares of Tesla for the foreseeable future — Elon Musk has announced that he will not take the company private after all.

“I met with Tesla’s Board of Directors yesterday and let them know that I believe the better path is for Tesla to remain public,” Musk said in a statement published to Tesla’s blog on Friday night.

On Aug. 7, Musk announced on Twitter that he was considering making Tesla a private company once again for $420 a share. He later said those tweets were made after a recent meeting with the Saudi Arabian sovereign wealth fund that left him with “no question” a deal could be closed.

The announcement didn’t sit well with Tesla’s board. The New York Times said some members “delivered [Musk] a stern message: Stop tweeting.” Musk didn’t stop, saying that Tesla had secured Goldman Sachs and Silver Lake as financial advisers. (The Times reported that neither firm had actually signed an agreement.)

But the announcement didn’t just grab Wall Street’s attention. It also caught the eye of the Securities and Exchange Commission, which sent subpoenas to Tesla and, according to Fox Business News, opened a “formal” investigation.

Musk said Friday that he worked with Silver Lake, Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley “to consider the many factors that would come into play in taking Tesla private, and to process all the incoming interest that we received from investors to fund a go-private transaction.” He says he also took feedback from “current shareholders, large and small.”

The verdict? Musk said the process reinforced his “belief there is more than enough funding to take Tesla private,” and that most shareholders he spoke to indicated they would stay if Tesla went private.

But, he said, “the sentiment, in a nutshell, was ‘please don’t do this.'”