Musk: Saudis pushed for 2 years to take Tesla private

The Tesla founder and CEO just released a statement defending his tweets that announced his consideration of taking the company private. It confirms that Saudi Arabia is the funding he is vying to use to take his company private

Elon Musk has outlined his plan to take Tesla private and said he discussed financing the deal with backing from Saudi Arabia.

His comments in which he said he is considering taking the green vehicle maker private for $420 a share shocked Wall Street and sent Tesla stock surging.

Since Musk first tweeted on Tuesday that he was considering taking Tesla private at $420 a share and that he had "funding secured", he's offered no evidence to back up the statement. With the SEC looking into Musk's claim, and Tesla board members reportedly meeting with financial advisers to evaluate his proposal this week, more should be revealed soon.

In one of the lawsuits, the plaintiff Kalman Isaacs said Musk's tweets were false and misleading, and together with Tesla's failure to correct them amounted to a "nuclear attack" created to "completely decimate" short-sellers.

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"Basically, I'm trying to accomplish an outcome where Tesla can operate at its best, free from as much distraction and short-term thinking as possible, and where there is as little change for all of our investors, including all of our employees, as possible", Musk wrote. Shares were up two cents to $355.51 in morning trading.

Taking Tesla private would remove the pressure from Musk coming from hedge funds betting that the company's stock will drop given its production issues and negative cash flow. During the meeting, the Managing Director of the fund expressed regret that I had not moved forward previously on a going private transaction with them, and he strongly expressed his support for funding a going private transaction for Tesla at this time.

In laying out why he is considering taking Tesla private, Musk pointed in part to shorts.

Public Investment Fund of Saudi Arabia was founded to invest on behalf of the government.

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A Tesla investment would add to the Saudi fund's long growing list of high-profile purchases. The fund has recently built a stake just shy of 5 percent in Tesla.

"The question is still around Tesla's future sales". He has also asked for additional details on how the company would be taken private, including any required percentages and any regulatory requirements.

The Saudi fund's talks began before the controversial August 7 tweet in which Musk said he was weighing a plan to take the company private. I will now continue to talk with investors, and I have engaged advisors to investigate a range of potential structures and options.

The amount of funding needed would depend on how many current investors want to remain part of the $60.9 billion company if it goes private.

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