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Elon Musk sued by investors over proposal to take Tesla private
11 August 2018, 11:06 | Hattie Nash
A Tesla dealership stands in the Red Hook neighborhood in Brooklyn
Short-sellers, who bet on share price falls, allege he misled the market.
The investors also accuse Musk of misleading the shareholders by claiming in the same tweet that he had "secured" the funds for making the company private, while failing to provide any proof of doing so.
Elon Musk - the founder, CEO, and lead designer at SpaceX, and the co-founder of Tesla - speaks at the International Space Station Research and Development Conference in Washington, US, July 19, 2017.
Isaacs claims that Tesla's volatility on Wall Street after the Twitter storm has cost shareholders shorting the stock hundreds of millions of dollars, and caused all Tesla securities purchasers to pay inflated prices over the three-day period leading up to Friday 10 August.
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The US Securities and Exchange Commission is understood to have already opened an inquiry into Mr Musk's tweets.
The tweet surprised many observers and drew criticism that it was not the best way for Musk to announce important decisions.
The plaintiffs say Musk's tweet came as a "nuclear attack" brought on to "completely decimate" short-sellers - traders who make money by borrowing overpriced shares, sell them, and then repurchase the shares at a lower price.
A second source close to the situation also said PIF was not taking part in any such plan at this stage.
Investment bankers and analysts have so far reacted with scepticism, telling Reuters it would be hard for Musk, whose net worth is pegged by Forbes at $22 billion, to raise the equity and debt financing needed for the deal given Tesla is not turning a profit.
Musk said he is thinking about pulling Tesla out of the stock market, citing "wild swings" in the company's stock price which can be "a major distraction for everyone working at Tesla".
"When you have these grand-vision companies, the founders - these leaders - don't want to have some investors have control", Gene Munster, a managing partner at venture capital firm Loup Ventures said in a Bloomberg TV interview, talking about the idea that Musk wouldn't want to bring in any large new shareholders.
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