The tweet may have become a meme, but the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission isn’t laughing at Elon Musk’s tweet about taking Tesla private.
The electric car company CEO blurted out on Twitter last week that he plans to buy back Tesla from shareholders. He said he had “funding secured.” Now the feds are worried about market manipulation and other violations from that seemingly innocuous tweet.
The company followed up with a lengthy blog post from Musk about what it would take to make Tesla private instead of publicly traded. He cited a recent meeting with the Saudi Arabian sovereign wealth fund to explain his funding comment.
Am considering taking Tesla private at $420. Funding secured.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) August 7, 2018
A week later, the SEC is reportedly subpoena-ing the eccentric billionaire. Last week reports surfaced about the SEC investigating Musk’s comments, but this is the next step. A Fox Business report Wednesday says that the investigation is now “formal.”
Reportedly, the San Francisco SEC office sent Bay Area-based Tesla subpoenas about privatizing the company.
Yet again, the SEC declined to comment.
Meanwhile, it looks like Tesla is moving along with plans to go private. Goldman Sachs is taking steps to be added as a financial advisor, and private equity firm Silver Lake is helping out with the transition, according to the New York Times.
Tesla didn’t respond to a request for additional comment about the probe and Musk’s business plans. Guess we’ll have to wait for the next tweet.