Elon Musk tweets he has funding to take Tesla private

CEO Elon Musk said on Twitter Tuesday that he's thinking about taking Tesla private, sparking a rally in the company's shares.

Being a public company means being subjected to wild swings in stock prices (it even spiked earlier today after his tweet talking about taking the company private), and such volatility can be a "major distraction" for both Tesla's workforce and shareholders.

The SEC did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Musk's tweet.

In fact, Tesla has turned a narrow profit in only two quarters since it became a public company in 2010.

But it was not clear how seriously to take the post, given Mr Musk's history on the social media service.

Musk has had a famously combative relationship with Wall Street, having mocked Tesla's short-sellers on Twitter and joked about Tesla going bankrupt.

Trading was then halted on the stock market around 2 pm EST according to The Washington Post.

Taking Tesla private "makes a ton of sense", said Gene Munster, a managing partner at venture capital firm Loup Ventures.

And yet it also left many questions unanswered, namely how Musk - who owns nearly 20 percent of the company - would be able to come up with the $66 billion necessary to complete the transaction.

A price of $420 per share price would represent a almost 23 percent premium to Tesla's closing price on Monday, which gave the company a market value of about $58 billion.

The surprise announcements prompted former Securities and Exchange Commission Chairman Harvey Pitt to question whether Musk had broken securities laws. Musk noted that the price represented a 20% premium over the company's share price after last week's second-quarter earnings report.

The company's shares were up more than 5 percent at more than $360.

Tesla has not confirmed whether the tweet was real - or if the CEO's account was hacked.

But asked if he would take legal action against Musk over the allegation, Unsworth said: 'If it's what I think it is yes'.

"I can't believe this is something to bluff or make fun of", said George Galliers of Evercore ISI.

Musk also wants Tesla's employees to remain shareholders.

I fundamentally believe that we are at our best when everyone is focused on executing, when we can remain focused on our long-term mission, and when there are not perverse incentives for people to try to harm what we're all trying to achieve.

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