Musk Scraps Plans to Take Tesla Private: Questions and Lies Remain
Here are some snips from Tesla's Staying Public announcement.
Musk's blog post starts out with "Earlier this month, I announced that I was considering taking Tesla private."
It failed to mention Musk Tweeted "Funding Secure".
>I worked with Silver Lake, Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley, who have world-class expertise in these matters, 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.
>Given the feedback I’ve received, it’s apparent that most of Tesla’s existing shareholders believe we are better off as a public company.
>I knew the process of going private would be challenging, but it’s clear that it would be even more time-consuming and distracting than initially anticipated.
>That said, my belief that there is more than enough funding to take Tesla private was reinforced during this process.
Translation: "I Lied"
The main source of funding for taking the company private, at least the only viable one Musk mentioned was Saudi Arabia.
On August 13, CNBC reported Musk says Saudi fund wants to take Tesla private, justifying his 'funding secure' tweet.
Saudi Arabia Invests in Tesla Rival
Six days ago I had a big laugh with this Reuters headline: Saudi PIF in talks to invest in aspiring Tesla rival Lucid.
>PIF, the Saudi Arabian sovereign wealth fund that Tesla Inc CEO Elon Musk has said could help him fund a $72 billion deal to take his electric car maker private, is in talks to invest in aspiring Tesla rival Lucid Motors Inc, people familiar with the matter said on Sunday.
Also consider this August 13 Tweet
Two More Lies
On August 14, the New York Times posted this pair of interesting facts.
- Neither Goldman nor Silver Lake — a private-equity firm focused on technology investments — had actually signed on with Tesla or Mr. Musk to play those roles, according to people familiar with the matter.
- Goldman was in talks with Tesla about a possible role, but had not finalized anything. Silver Lake, meanwhile, is interested in investing in any going-private deal, but it isn’t acting in a paid advisory capacity.
Musk has a habit of talking about potential deals as if they were finalized deals.
Today's announcement concluded as follows:
>After considering all of these factors, 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. The Board indicated that they agree.
>Thank you to all of our investors, customers and employees for the support you’ve given our company. I’m incredibly excited to continue leading Tesla as a public company. It is a privilege.
Better Path or Only Path?
That may not exactly be a "lie" but it's highly unlikely to be the complete truth.
Here's a more believable translation:
I messed up so badly that Saudi Arabia backed out of any potential deal. It is now impossible to take Tesla private as I hoped. It remains a privilege to have suckers willing to hold shares at these lofty prices in the wake of all my lies, distractions, and sleepless nights despite Being on Ambien.
Disclosure, I am Short Tesla via PUTs staggered out over four months.
Mike "Mish" Shedlock