It's never a boring day when Elon Musk takes to Twitter.
Today, Elon Musk came out of left field with a tweet saying that he's "considering" taking Tesla private at a share price of $420. In that same tweet, he claimed that he has already secured the funding for doing so.
Tesla did not immediately respond to a request for comment. However, Musk later sent out a letter to all Tesla employees detailing the plans, and laying out the reasoning. You can.
Some outlets were initially questioning whether or not the tweet came from Musk himself, but considering how Tesla's stock price reacted to the tweet (at the time of writing, it's up almost $20 per share over its opening price), was seen by some as just another way to keep burning the folks shorting Tesla stock, who have been the target of many Musk tweets in the past.
Tesla also made the news just before this tweet, when the Financial Times reported that Saudi Arabia's Public Investment Fund had amassed a previously unreported stake of "between 3 and 5 percent" of Tesla's shares.
At a share price of $420, Electrek points out that taking Tesla private would be a costly decision, to the tune of some $70 billion. Musk owns approximately 20 percent of those outstanding shares, which would lower the price tag a bit, but it would still be pretty hefty. In follow-up tweets, Musk noted that current shareholders would have the option to hold their shares when the company goes private -- in fact, that's what he hopes will happen.
There are a number of reasons why a publicly traded company would want to go private again. It wouldn't be subject to the whim of public shareholders. Going private also allows a company to reorganize with a focus on its long-term goals while having to worry less about any short-term losses incurred in the process. Private companies also carry fewer regulatory burdens, which can cost a company both time and money.
Tesla went public in 2010, when it offered more than 13 million shares at $17 each. Its initial public offering raised approximately $226 million. Musk's other primary venture, SpaceX, remains privately held.
Update, 11:14 p.m. PT: NASDAQ has halted Tesla's trading at 2:08 p.m. Eastern for "pending news" following Musk's tweet.
Update, 12:58 p.m. PT: Tesla stock has resumed trading after Musk has posted a letter outlining the plans. You can.