Elon Musk tweets about going private and shares 'skyrocket'

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He tweeted minutes after it was reported that Saudi Arabia's sovereign wealth fund had taken a stake of up to 5pc in Tesla, a holding worth as much as $2.9bn (£2.2bn).

So it will take some very deep pockets to buy up all of Tesla's publicly held stock. In that same tweet, he claimed that he has already secured the funding for doing so.

When another person tweeted that going private "saves a lot of headaches", Musk replied, "Yes".

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Paul Huettner, an associate at a financial advisory firm that specializes in restructuring and bankruptcy, said in a call that announcements like this are normally done after markets close. Musk owns almost 20pc of the company.

One block of 714 Tesla call options, betting on the shares rising above $365 by the end of the week, were bought for 85 cents, for a total outlay of $60,690 at 12:21 p.m. EDT. Joke or no, the tweet bumped Tesla's stock even higher. I think he's serious.

Last week, when the company shared its second-quarter earnings, investors were hopeful that Musk had turned over a new, less-erratic leaf after he apologized for his weird past behavior.

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Fortune has yet to ascertain the veracity of the tweet, and will update this article once Tesla responds.

For current shareholders, Musk said he would institute a provision ensuring that their stock be converted into private shares, adding he would 'ensure their prosperity in any scenario'.

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