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Tesla forms special committee to review Musk's going-private plan
Last Updated: 2018-08-15 09:43 | Xinhua
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U.S. top electric automaker Tesla Inc said Tuesday that it has formed a special board committee to assess its CEO Elon Musk's plan to take the company private.

The "Board of Directors has formed a special committee comprised of three independent directors to act on behalf of the Company in connection with Elon Musk's previously announced consideration of a transaction to take the Company private," Tesla said in a statement.

The three independent directors include Brad Buss, Robyn Denholm and Linda Johnson Rice, who will have the full power and authority of the Board to "take any and all actions on behalf of the Board of Directors" to evaluate and negotiate a potential "going-private proposal," it said.

Musk tweeted last week that he wants to take Tesla private at 420 dollars per share, and funding has been "secure."

Musk said Monday that he has held talks with Saudi Arabia's sovereign wealth fund about his plan to privatize the Palo Alto, California-based electric car manufacturer.

The Tesla CEO broke silence in a blog post Monday after several days of speculations on how he is going to privatize Tesla following his announcement on Twitter on Aug. 7 that he was considering taking Tesla private at a price of 420 U.S. dollars per share.

"Going back almost two years, the Saudi Arabian sovereign wealth fund has approached me multiple times about taking Tesla private. They first met with me at the beginning of 2017 to express this interest," Musk said.

He said the Saudi sovereign fund has recently purchased almost 5 percent of the company's stock on the public market.

However, the Special Committee of Tesla's Board has not received from Musk any formal proposal for the firm's privatization.

"No assurances can be given regarding the likelihood, terms and details of any proposal" for the going-private deal, nor will there be any guarantee that it would accept a proposal from Musk, said the special committee.

Musk tweeted on Monday that he was working with Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and private equity firm Silver Lake Capital Partners, as well as two law firms, as advisers for a deal.

Analysts said if Tesla goes private at 420 dollars per share, it could cost 72 billion dollars to cover the buyout. But Musk said in a Monday Twitter post that the estimation has been "dramatically overstated."

Musk's going-private announcement a week ago has caused skepticism among investors on how he is going to privatize Tesla, which also caught the attention of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. The U.S. regulator said it was inquiring about the deal to see whether his statements were misleading.

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