Tesla CEO Elon Musk announced late Friday via a statement on Tesla's website the automaker would give up plans to take the company private, just 17 days after the embattled executive announced on Twitter he was considering one of the largest leveraged buyouts in corporate history.
Staying Public https://t.co/gUrAnInBOu— Tesla (@Tesla) August 25, 2018
"Given the feedback I’ve received, it’s apparent that most of Tesla’s existing shareholders believe we are better off as a public company," Musk wrote Friday. "Although the majority of shareholders I spoke to said they would remain with Tesla if we went private, the sentiment, in a nutshell, was 'please don’t do this.'"
Although Musk said his belief that there is "more than enough funding" to take Tesla private was reaffirmed, many of Tesla's large institutional shareholders have limits on the size of their investments in a private company, he wrote.
On Aug. 7 Musk tweeted: "Am considering taking Tesla private at $420. Funding secured," which started the company's recent financial maelstrom.
The Tweet launched a flurry of speculation about the company's future, including inquiries from the Securities and Exchange Commission, and trading was briefly halted on the stock.
In a letter to shareholders, Musk revealed that representatives from the Saudi Arabian sovereign wealth fund expressed an interest in taking Tesla private. It's unclear if the fund had conducted any due diligence necessary to make such an investment, however.
On Monday, Reuters reported that the fund was interested in investing in one of Tesla's rivals, Lucid Motors.
In response to Musk's latest statement, Tesla's board of directors issued a statement and said they support Musk's decision to remain public and have dissolved a special committee formed to investigate taking the company private.