Musk Says He May Take Tesla Private, Shares Roar

Elon Musk at a Tesla

Elon Musk has been embroiled in a war of words on social media with critics of the electric car company

Tesla boss Elon Musk has shocked the market with a bombshell tweet saying he is mulling taking the electric auto company private.

Shares surged as Musk's verified Twitter account posted details about potentially becoming a private company. "Funding secured", Musk said in the tweet.

Tesla has been publicly traded since 2010, and has seen its share price rise from just under $20 then to $360 at time of writing. Musk said he is considering taking the electric auto maker private.

Representatives for Tesla did not immediately confirm the tweet was genuine. On April 1 this year, Musk tweeted, "We are sad to report that Tesla has gone completely and totally bankrupt".

One block of 714 Tesla call options, betting on the shares rising above $365 by the end of the week, were bought for 85 cents, for a total outlay of $60,690 at 12:21 p.m. EDT. At the price mentioned in Musk's tweet, however, Tesla would be valued at roughly $71.7 billion, 18% higher than its current market capitalization. Musk owns almost 20 percent of the company. I think he's serious.

Last month, he alleged "sabotage" at Tesla's operations by an employee, who responded by claiming to be a 'whistleblower'. The Tesla CEO tweeted in July that short-sellers only had a few weeks until their positions would "explode".

The Tesla CEO wrote a lengthy note to all of his staff stating that he had discovered someone working intently on causing malicious damage within the company's ranks.

The firm reported a record loss in its most recent quarter, and some analysts say it will need to raise money in order to survive.

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