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Aug 14, 2018

Tesla go-private effort advances with special committee

Musk Tweets Muddy the Water for Tesla Investors, Says Ex-SEC Attorney

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Tesla Inc.’s board formed a special committee to evaluate Elon Musk’s proposal to take the electric-car maker private, a day after the chief executive officer revealed more on who will advise him and help fund the potential deal.

Independent directors Brad Buss, Robyn Denholm and Linda Johnson Rice will comprise the committee, which hasn’t yet received a formal proposal from Musk, according to a statement Tuesday. They haven’t reached any conclusion on whether taking Tesla private is advisable or feasible.

Musk, 47, touched off the process a week ago with a highly unconventional announcement of an effort to take a company off the public markets and has been drip-feeding details in tweets and blog posts that have preempted the board. In a tweet late Monday, the chairman and CEO said he’s getting advice from Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and private-equity firm Silver Lake and had lined up legal advisers. Earlier in the day, he said Saudi Arabia first approached him with interest in taking Tesla private early last year.

The Tesla board’s special committee has hired Latham & Watkins LLP for legal counsel and plans to retain an independent financial adviser to assist its review, according to the statement. The company has separately retained Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati for legal counsel.