Aug 7, 2018

Elon Musk says he may take Tesla private for $85 billion

Tesla founder and CEO, Elon Musk. Photo: Joshua Lott/Getty Images

Tesla founder and CEO Elon Musk tweeted Tuesday that he may acquire the electric car company for more than $85 billion (including debt).

Timing: The tweet came just after the Financial Times reported that a Saudi Arabian sovereign wealth fund had acquired around a $2 billion stake in Tesla. Musk has not yet provided any additional information, such as the identities of his financing partners, nor has Tesla itself made a comment.

  • Shares spiked from $355 to $370 on Musk's tweet, but they have since fallen back a bit. Shortly after 2pm they were halted.
  • Musk currently holds around 19.87% of Tesla's outstanding stock.

The big question: It is unclear how the SEC will view Musk's tweet. It does allow companies to disseminate material information via social media, but this isn't really an official company communication nor a formal takeover offer. And it certainly is impacting the stock price.

The smaller question: $420 per share makes sense as a typical take-private premium, as it would be around 22% higher than where Tesla shares opened this morning. But "420" is also slang for consuming cannabis, prompting some on Twitter to wonder if Musk is doing a bit of trolling.

Update: More tweeting from Musk:

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Trump accuses Twitter of interfering in 2020 election

President Trump speaks to the press as he departs the White House in Washington, D.C., on Thursday. Photo: Mandel Ngan/Getty Images

President Trump responded via tweets Tuesday evening to Twitter fact-checking him for the first time on his earlier unsubstantiated posts claiming mail-in ballots in November's election would be fraudulent.

What he's saying: "Twitter is now interfering in the 2020 Presidential Election.They are saying my statement on Mail-In Ballots, which will lead to massive corruption and fraud, is incorrect, based on fact-checking by Fake News CNN and the Amazon Washington Post," the president tweeted. "Twitter is completely stifling FREE SPEECH, and I, as President, will not allow it to happen!"

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  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 8:30 p.m. ET: 5,584,091 — Total deaths: 349,894 — Total recoveries — 2,284,242Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 8:30 p.m. ET: 1,680,301 — Total deaths: 98,875 — Total recoveries: 384,902 — Total tested: 14,907,041Map.
  3. Federal response: DOJ investigates meatpacking industry over soaring beef pricesMike Pence's press secretary returns to work.
  4. Congress: House Republicans to sue Nancy Pelosi in effort to block proxy voting.
  5. Business: How the new workplace could leave parents behind.
  6. Tech: Twitter fact-checks Trump's tweets about mail-in voting for first timeGoogle to open offices July 6 for 10% of workers.
  7. Public health: CDC releases guidance on when you can be around others after contracting the coronavirus.
  8. What should I do? When you can be around others after contracting the coronavirus — Traveling, asthma, dishes, disinfectants and being contagiousMasks, lending books and self-isolatingExercise, laundry, what counts as soap — Pets, moving and personal healthAnswers about the virus from Axios expertsWhat to know about social distancingHow to minimize your risk.
  9. Other resources: CDC on how to avoid the virus, what to do if you get it, the right mask to wear.

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Updated 33 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Twitter fact-checks Trump's tweets for first time

President Trump briefs reporters in the Rose Garden on May 26. Photo: Brendan Smialowski/AFP via Getty Images

Twitter fact-checked two of President Trump's unsubstantiated tweets that mail-in ballots in the 2020 election would be fraudulent for the first time on Tuesday, directing users to "get the facts" through news stories that cover the topic.

Why it matters: Twitter and other social media platforms have faced criticism for not doing enough to combat misinformation, especially when its propagated by the president.