Elon Musk said on Twitter today that he is “considering” taking Tesla private “at $420,” and that he had secured the funding to do so.
The tweet seems to imply that Musk would make an offer to buy out Tesla stock at $420 per share. Tesla shares opened just below $344 today but have spiked as high as $371 after a report about Saudi Arabia taking a stake in the company worth $2 billion or more.
It’s often difficult to tell when Musk is serious and when he is joking, especially on Twitter. The Boring Company’s existence was announced there, when Musk tweeted, “Traffic is driving me nuts. Am going to build a tunnel boring machine and just start digging…” He then named the company and said, “I am actually going to do this.” The Boring Company now has a contract with Chicago to build a transportation system to the airport. Also, on April Fools’ Day, Musk joked about a Tesla bankruptcy — a prank.
Am considering taking Tesla private at $420. Funding secured.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) August 7, 2018
But 420 is, famously, the weed number. Whether that means there’s a serious bid to take the company private or that Musk is going to get Tesla into weed or nothing at all isn’t clear. Musk has not offered much clarification. Tesla hasn’t yet responded to a request for comment.
In recent months, Musk has been in a heated debate with short sellers who believe that Tesla will ultimately fail, even going so far as to supposedly call an anonymous investment blogger’s boss to get them fired. As a public company, Tesla’s continued struggles to produce vehicles and make a profit have been watched closely, even as Musk continues to promise eventual turnarounds — like what happened with the Model 3.