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Last Updated : Aug 24, 2018 09:56 PM IST | Source: Moneycontrol.com

Morgan Stanley to advise Elon Musk in bid to take Tesla private

The latest development means that Musk be advised by Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley, two of the top deal advisers in the US, in his bid to take Tesla private

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Tesla founder Elon Musk has roped in Morgan Stanley to assist him in his bid to make Tesla a private company, according to report by Bloomberg.

Musk has tied up with the investment firm in a personal capacity. Morgan Stanley will not be advising Tesla or its board, which had set up a special committee to evaluate the option of going private.

The investment bank gave no explanation after it suspended its coverage of electric car company's stock on Tuesday.

Musk has earlier bemoaned the inability to make risky financial bets to drive innovation at Tesla as he was beholden to its investors.

Going private will give Musk more leeway in decision making, and strengthen his hand in financial matters, without him having to assuage shareholders' concerns over the company's finances.

On August 7, the 47-year-old took to Twitter to say that he had "secured funding" and that it would only be a matter of time before he took the company private. Tesla launched its initial public offering on June 29, 2010.

However, in a blog post, he retracted his earlier statement, saying no such deal had been finalized.

The tweet drew the ire of the US' Securities and Exchange Commission, which subpoenaed Musk for revealing sensitive information about a listed company in the public domain.

Musk's preference for angel investors has been written and talked about widely. He had reportedly sounded out Softbank and Saudi Arabia's Public Investment Fund about financing a deal that valued Tesla at around $70 billion, according to a CNBC report.

The latest development means that Musk be advised by Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley, two of the top deal advisers in the US, in his bid to take Tesla private.

Both banks are among the biggest underwriters on the company's stock and bond offerings. Morgan Stanley also holds 0.6 percent stake in Tesla, making it one of the top 20 shareholders in the company. Adam Jonas, its Tesla analyst, has been bullish on the stock.

Jim Osman of the Edge Group told Bloomberg that taking Tesla private would mean that investors who are bullish on the company will have to find creative alternatives to partake of any future value creation.

It will also disrupt the calculations of fund managers and investors who had made long-term bets on the stock, he was quoted as saying.

Both Tesla and Morgan Stanley did not comment on the move. It was a chaotic month on the bourse for Tesla. Its shares slipped 0.5 percent to close at $320.10 on August 23.

The stock price jumped to almost $380 following Musk's cryptic tweet, before falling below the $300 mark. It is currently up 2.8 percent for this year, making it the best performer among auto manufacturers.

Musk and Morgan Stanley go back a long way. The Tesla chairman, who is also CEO of SpaceX, owed Morgan Stanley $344.4 million in personal loans, as of February 2017.

Musk posted a tweet on Monday that Goldman Sachs and private-equity firm Silver Lake will be advising the proposed privatisation bid. Sources told the news website that Goldman Sachs was not aware of this at the time of Musk's tweet.

On Tuesday, Goldman Sachs put out a statement saying it was suspending coverage of Tesla's stock as it was acting as a financial adviser "in connection with a matter that is fundamental" to the company's future valuation.

 
First Published on Aug 24, 2018 09:58 am
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