Chief Executive Elon Musk said on Tuesday he is considering taking Tesla Inc private in what would be the largest deal of its type, moving the electric vehicle maker out of the glare of Wall Street as it goes through a period of rapid growth under tight financial constraints.
"I don't have a controlling vote now & wouldn't expect any shareholder to have one if we go private", Musk said in a follow-up tweet. In follow-up tweets, Musk said shareholders could either sell at $420 or hold their shares and go private, adding that he was super appreciative of Tesla shareholders and would ensure their prosperity in any scenario.
Tesla did not immediate respond to requests for comment.
While Mr Musk has previously discussed the drawbacks of being a public company, he has also used his Twitter account in ways that surprised investors. Musk previously tweeted an April Fool's joke about his $60 billion company going broke. Shares in Tesla were up sharply following the tweet, trading at $363 at the time of writing.
One block of 714 Tesla call options, betting on the shares rising above $365 by the end of the week, were bought for 85 cents, for a total outlay of $60,690, at 12:21 p.m. EDT.
His US$12b Tesla stake would presumably be rolled into the private enterprise.
Musk also owns about 10 percent of Space X, which is valued at $25 billion and a large portion of The Boring Company, which analysts have said could reach $16 billion in value if it executes on current contracts.
The announcement, made initially via Twitter, stunned investors and sent Tesla's stock price soaring as much as 13 percent.
"My intention is for all Tesla employees to remain shareholders of the company, just as is the case at SpaceX", Musk said.
Tesla CEO Elon Musk's discussion of privatizing the company's shares sparked a seesaw in prices before trading was suspended.
But asked if he would take legal action against Musk over the allegation, Unsworth said: 'If it's what I think it is yes'.
In 2013, he emailed SpaceX employees that he was "hesitant to foist being public" on the company "given the long term nature of our mission".
At a share price of $420, Tesla would be worth more than $70 billion.
Short interest in Tesla on Tuesday stood at almost $US13 billion, according to S3 Partners, a financial analytics firm.
George Galliers of Evercore ISI said he believed the tweet was serious.
"I can't believe this is something to bluff or make fun of".