Tesla shares jump after Musk settles with SEC

Adjust Comment Print

Musk said August 7 in a company blog post that he was considering taking Tesla private at $420 per share, representing a 20% premium over the stock price following the company's second-quarter earnings release.

As part of the settlement, the company will appoint a new independent chairman, two independent directors and control Musk's communications.

The $40 million penalty amount will be distributed to investors seeking justice under a court controlled procedure.

Musk and Tesla have agreed to settle the charges against them without admitting or denying the SEC's allegations.

He will stay on as chief executive of the company.

An expanded board and new chairman offers hope "a true check on Elon will emerge and there will be greater accountability" over Musk's statements and business targets, Spak added.

The electric car maker cranked out 80,000 vehicles during its third quarter, pushing out the final 2,000 during a two-day blitz over the weekend, according to Electrek, an auto news site.

Musk invited wrath in August when he falsely claimed on Twitter that he had secured funds for a multi-billion dollar buyout of Tesla, leading its share price to swell and creating huge losses for "short-selling" investors who had bet against the firm.

Tesla shares briefly rose at the opening bell before falling about 1 percent, to $307.82.

Tesla Inc (TSLA.O) announced record quarterly auto production numbers on Tuesday but warned of major problems with selling cars in China due to new tariffs that would force it to accelerate investment in its factory in Shanghai. Musk tweeted only once since the settlement was announced - posting a music video by rap group Naughty by Nature. As Tesla's largest shareholder, Musk is likely to retain a seat on the board and have influence in determining his successor as chair.

In a letter to employees, Musk said Tesla's volatile stock has served as a "major distraction" to staff and that being public created a lot of pressure on the company to 'make decisions that may be right for a given quarter, but not necessarily right for the long-term'.

Tesla's own ability to further accelerate that transition will be tested in coming months by the success of the company's Tesla 3 deliveries this last quarter and the current one just started.

Musk reached a settlement with the regulators, announced Saturday.

The Model 3 sedan is key to the money-losing company's growth and profit plans and underpins its goal of eventually becoming a mass-production automaker.