On Tuesday morning, the company said it formed a committee from the Board of Directors to evaluate privatization, according to the company's SEC filing. The statement said the committee "has not yet received a formal proposal from Mr. Musk regarding any going private transaction."
Since Tesla CEO's tweet on August 7 claiming funding was secured unleashed a storm of legal and financial questions, the press and public tried to make sense of the company's motivations and the next steps.
"Certainly the whole story is getting interesting, I don't know if it really makes sense for the company to go private during its life cycle," says Ivan Feinseth, director of research and chief investment officer of Tigress Financial Partners. "They also need the public markets to attract and compensate employees. They are competing for technology talent in Silicon Valley and they view themselves as a technology company."
Committee to the Rescue
The special committee will be made up of three directors: SolarCity CFO Brad Buss, Telstra COO of telecommunications Robyn Denholm and Johnson Publishing CEO Linda Johnson Rice, who will "evaluate and negotiate" a potential transaction.
The statement also noted that the committee "intends to retain an independent financial advisor to assist in its review of a formal proposal once received." It will also consider "alternatives to any transaction proposed by Mr. Musk."
Musk, on the other hand, tweeted on Monday night he was "excited to work with Silver Lake and Goldman Sachs as financial advisors, plus Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz and Munger, Tolles & Olson as legal advisors, on the proposal to take Tesla private."
- What Coke's CEO Has Learned From His Most Important Shareholder, Warren Buffett
- Why Coca-Cola's CEO Is Bullish on the Company's Future
The committee's formation comes following a $2 billion share purchase from the Saudi Public Investment Fund.
Feinseth, who is neutral on Tesla stock, thinks it would be difficult for Musk to raise money to take the company private, estimating the company would pay $7.1 billion a year to service the debt.
Not everyone's a skeptic.
Morgan Stanley analyst Adam Jonas was confident more funding would be available for the automaker in a note published on August 13.
"While we cannot be specific, we believe there to be many hundreds of billions of dollars of capital trying to play this multigenerational investment theme that covers many trillions of dollars of addressable market across autos, hardware, software, infrastructure, and mega-fleet management," he said. "Elon Musk may be one of the best-positioned players in this ecosystem to explore the size and availability of this pool of capital as anyone else in the market."
An update on the committee's progress in pursuing the company's plan to go private is expected "as soon as practicable."