SEC scrutiny of Tesla grows as Goldman hints at advisor role

Ivan Schwartz
August 18, 2018

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) investigation relates to Musk's claim on Twitter that funding was "secured" for a buyout, sources told Fox Business.

Silver Lake was also not signed up officially as a financial adviser, as it is helping Musk explore how to take Tesla private with no compensation, Reuters reported on Monday. He said that while he expects Tesla to receive a small fine from NASDAQ for failing to notify the stock exchange before Musk's "funding secured" tweet, neither Musk nor the company will face more extensive punishment. On Wednesday, news of a Tesla subpoena hit the market, served by the only and only SEC. Even before Musk's message on August 7, the SEC had been inquiring about issues at Tesla.

Musk released a statement Monday stating his "funding secured" statement was made after substantial talks with the Saudi fund about taking Tesla private July 31.

However, public speculation about the accuracy of Musk's initial tweet has continued to swirl, even as Tesla's board formed an independent committee to assess the possibility of going private.

Tesla's shares fell 4% on the latest news. Subpoenas typically indicate the SEC has opened a formal investigation into a matter.

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Analysts estimated the deal would require up to US$50 billion. No punctured cells have ever been used in any Model 3 vehicles in any way, and all VINs that have been identified have safe batteries.

In June Tesla sued Tripp for alleging that he hacked the company and transferred secret information to third parties.

It has become clear since then that neither Musk nor Tesla had actually lined up the necessary financing aside from having preliminary conversations with some investors.

Musk said he wanted to take the automaker private to focus on the automaker's vision outside of quarterly earnings calls and to remove "perverse incentives for people to try to harm what we're all trying to achieve".

Other reports by GizPress

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