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- After Elon Musk announced he no longer planned to take Tesla private, a Tesla board member let out an excited whoop, The Wall Street Journal reports.
- The decision came after a tumultuous few weeks in which Musk and Tesla scrambled to recover from a tweet in which Musk announced he wanted to take Tesla private.
Elon Musk may not have been the only one relieved to close Tesla’s chapter about becoming a private company.
As Musk informed Tesla’s board of directors that he was abandoning a plan to buy out the electric-car maker’s public shares, one board member let out an excited whoop, according to an account in The Wall Street Journal detailing the culmination of the saga.
The account does not specify which board member sounded the “Woohoo,” but the nameless director’s reaction underscores the feeling that many Tesla investors and observers had as the unusual drama unfolded during the past couple of weeks.
Musk blindsided Wall Street and his own board in early August when he tweeted that he was considering taking Tesla private at $420 a share and that there was “funding secured.”
The tweet, which sent Tesla’s stock surging, triggered a 17-day scramble for Musk and the company to line up investors to back up his tweet. Potential investors included Volkswagen, a competitor, and Saudi Arabia’s government, a foreign entity with a vested interest in oil production.
After sending the company into crisis mode, and prompting an investigation by US regulators, Musk began to have second thoughts about privatization, The Journal reports. He was reportedly worried that smaller investors wouldn’t be able to stay on board during the transition, and he was concerned with giving decision-making power to other investors, especially competitors like Volkswagen. In addition, a Saudi investment, which Musk said he was referring to in his “funding secured” tweet, was never a done deal – the Saudis hadn’t yet made a proposal, The Journal said.
The side effects that came with taking on new investors were said to be discouraging to Musk, and he ultimately decided to keep the company public. He told The Journal in an email that privatization was “now or perhaps never,” predicting that “the value of Tesla will rise considerably in the coming months and years, possibly putting any take-private beyond the reach of any investors.” This decision is what prompted the “woohoo” from a board member.
So, for now at least, Tesla is staying public.