"There's a lot of noise that surrounds a public company and people are constantly commenting on the share price and value", Musk said in 2015.
What seemed like a joke at first may be serious and as the company's stock price went insane, trading had been halted.
Munster predicted a one-in-three chance that Musk will actually take Tesla private.
At that price, the Tesla transaction would be worth more than US$71 billion. Short sellers are speculators who effectively bet against the price of Tesla's shares, potentially adding to the volatility of Tesla's stock price and giving them a vested interest in seeing Tesla fail.
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Now the question is, is this a similar move, taking the pressure off the public performance that Musk disdains each quarter, combined with some hubris over decimating the multitude of short positions. In the past year alone, Tesla shares have seen a wild swing, trading as low as $244.59 last April to reaching its all-time high less than six months later amid upbeat Model 3 sentiment. Reports of the PIF stake have pushed Tesla stock to a session high, surging 6.59% to 364.54 at the time of publication.
Musk has followed up with an offer for current stockholders to keep their shares and "go private" - without knowing further details on the company's board and governance structure.
The CEO wrote in a letter to employees Tuesday, revealing that he is genuinely considering moving Tesla off the public stock markets. The company had a market value of $58 billion as of Monday's close.
Since Tesla is also the most shorted stock in history, Musk said the company's doubters have incentive to bash the company and depress the company's share price.
He stunned investors on Tuesday with a tweet saying he had already lined up the funding, and he told employees that it would relieve the electric vehicle company of the "enormous pressure" of Wall Street's expectations.
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"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", he wrote. The switch would mean that shareholders could no longer freely sell their shares on the open market, but Musk said that employees-and potentially other shareholders-would still receive periodic opportunities to cash out.
But the market appeared to take him seriously with Tesla shares surging on the news.
"Given his historic frustration with short sellers, analysts and certain parts of the press, it is perhaps also not surprising that he has given consideration to taking the company private".
Earlier Tuesday, the Financial Times reported that Saudi Arabia's sovereign wealth fund has bought as much as 5 percent of the company's shares - making it one of Tesla's biggest shareholders. He also notes that Tesla would likely go public in the future after entering a "phase of slower, more predictable growth".
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