Tesla forms three-member panel to look at any Musk deal


Tesla's board of directors said Tuesday it formed a special committee to consider chief executive Elon Musk's proposal to take the electric auto giant private.

"The special committee has not yet received a formal proposal from Mr Musk regarding any "going private transaction" nor has it reached any conclusion as to the advisability or feasibility of such a transaction", the company said.

The company said in the statement the special committee has the authority to take any action on behalf of the board to evaluate and negotiate a potential transaction and alternatives to any transaction proposed by Musk. These comments sparked suspicion that Musk could be manipulating the stock price of Tesla, unless he was stating facts, and this suspicion in turn prompted the revelation.

But a source said Silver Lake was offering its assistance to Musk without compensation and had not been hired as a financial adviser in an official capacity.

Musk said in his Monday statement that he was still in talks with the Saudi fund but was also having discussions with other investors because he wanted to "continue to have a broad investor base".

Musk announced last week on Twitter and on Tesla's website that he was considering taking automaker Tesla private and had secured the funding to do so. In his proposal, existing shareholders could remain as they are in a private Tesla, or agree to the buyout amount per share.

Musk added that most capital for the deal would come from equity and it would not be "wise" to burden the company with added debt.

A Tesla sales and service centre is shown in Costa Mesa, California, US.

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Board members Brad Buss, Robyn Denholm and Linda Johnson Rice will sit on the committee.

California-based Tesla has become one of the most valuable automakers on expectations it will disrupt the industry, although it produced only slightly more than 100,000 vehicles a year ago.

Oh, dear. Azealia Banks, the rapper/walking controversy, hit Instagram late last night to lament an unfortunate weekend allegedly spent at the Los Angeles home of SpaceX founder Elon Musk.

The fallout from that tweet follows an extended run of public missteps by the Tesla CEO.

One director, Steve Jurvetson, is now on leave of absence following allegations of sexual harassment.

"This is why I referred to "funding secured" in the August 7 announcement", he said, referring to his surprise tweet on that date that he was thinking about taking Tesla private.

The special committee has retained lawyers - Latham & Watkins - in addition to a legal team used by the company.