Musk Says in Tweet He Is Considering Taking Tesla Private

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

The stock had been worth about $342 a share before Musk's tweet.

The company had a market value of US$58 billion as of Monday's close. Musk owns approximately 20 percent of those outstanding shares, which would lower the price tag a bit, but it would still be pretty hefty.

A deal at $420 per share represents a 22.8% premium to Tesla's closing price on Monday, valuing the company at about $72bn. The stock had been up earlier in the day after The Financial Times reported a Saudi Arabian sovereign wealth fund had bought a $2 billion stake in Tesla.

Tesla's shares jumped as high as $371.15 in afternoon trading.

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

Short interest in Tesla on Monday stood at almost US$12 billion, equivalent to 28 per cent of its float, according to S3 Partners, a financial analytics firm.

Tesla did not respond to a request for comment immediately.

George Galliers of Evercore ISI said he believed the tweet was serious.

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