Elon Musk insists he has funding to take Tesla private, but won’t because investors pleaded with him not to

Elon Musk announces a Tesla project in Australia in September 2017.

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Elon Musk announces a Tesla project in Australia in September 2017.
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Getty Images

  • Elon Musk announced on Friday that he no longer wants to make Tesla a private company.
  • In a blog explaining why he made the decision, Musk insisted he could fund the move, despite widespread skepticism.
  • Instead, he said that investors persuaded him that Tesla is better as a public company.
  • He summarized the reaction from shareholders as “please don’t do this.”

Elon Musk believes that there is “more than enough” funding to make Tesla a private company, but decided not to because investors told him “please don’t do this.”

Musk announced his intention to keep Tesla as a publicly-traded company on Friday, ending a three-week saga that involved everybody from Goldman Sachs to the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

In a blog post on Tesla’s website, Musk explained his reasons and said money wasn’t one of them, and that the process of exploring the options for Tesla had “reinforced” his belief that the cash was there.

His view, first expressed in a breezy August 7 tweet declaring that there was “funding secured” for a move was met with widespread skepticism, and prompted inquiries by the SEC.

A Tesla Model 3.

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A Tesla Model 3.
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Hollis Johnson/Business Insider

Musk said his main motivation for keeping Tesla public was entreaties from shareholders. He said:

From the post:

“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. Additionally, a number of institutional shareholders have explained that they have internal compliance issues that limit how much they can invest in a private company.

“There is also no proven path for most retail investors to own shares if we were private. Although the majority of shareholders I spoke to said they would remain with Tesla if we went private, the sentiment, in a nutshell, was ‘please don’t do this.'”

Musk said he hopes putting the issue to bed will let Tesla focus on building more cars and turning a profit.

Just over a week ago, Musk gave an interview to the New York Times in which he said 2018 is proving “the most difficult and painful year of my career.”

He said he’s having trouble sleeping and spent a full 24 hours in the Tesla factory working on his 47th birthday.