- Tesla CEO Elon Musk has attracted controversy for his statements on August 7 about taking Tesla private.
- The announcement, which took a lot of people by surprise, started a wild few weeks of speculation and accusation, with Musk at the center.
- On August 24, Musk formally abandoned the go-private plan and said Tesla would remain a public company.
Tesla CEO Elon Musk shocked observers when he said on August 7 that he was thinking about taking the company private.
That plan came to an abrupt conclusion on August 24, when Musk and Tesla formally abandoned the idea. They had whipped up a whirlwind that got the attention of everyone, including Wall Street regulators.
Here's what you need to know to make sense of the saga.
November 15: Elon Musk says in a Rolling Stone interview that he wishes Tesla were a private company.
"I wish we could be private with Tesla," Musk said in the interview. "It actually makes us less efficient to be a public company."
July 31: Musk is said to have met with the managing director of Saudi Arabia's sovereign wealth fund.
Musk said in a statement published on Tesla's website on August 13 that he had a meeting with the managing director of Saudi Arabia's sovereign wealth fund on July 31.
Musk said that during this meeting, the director "expressed regret that I had not moved forward previously on a going private transaction with them, and he strongly expressed his support for funding a going private transaction for Tesla at this time."
"I understood from him that no other decision makers were needed and that they were eager to proceed," Musk added. "I left the July 31st meeting with no question that a deal with the Saudi sovereign fund could be closed, and that it was just a matter of getting the process moving."
The Saudi sovereign fund did not respond to a request for comment.
August 1: Tesla reports second-quarter earnings amid fear the company is running out of cash.
Tesla reported an adjusted loss per share of $3.06 for the second quarter — larger than what analysts had predicted — and revenue of $4 billion, which beat analyst projections.
Its cash burn, $739.5 million, was lower than analysts expected. The company said it expected to be profitable in the second half of 2018.
"Going forward, we believe Tesla can achieve sustained quarterly profits, absent a severe force majeure or economic downturn, while continuing to grow at a rapid pace," the company said.
Musk also apologized for saying during Tesla's first-quarter earnings call in May that Antonio Sacconaghi, a Bernstein analyst, had asked "boring, bonehead questions."
"I'd like to apologize for being impolite on the prior call," Musk said on the second-quarter earnings call. "Honestly, I really think there's no excuse for bad manners, and I was kind of violating my own rule in that regard. There are reasons for it in that I had gotten no sleep, had been working 110-hour, 120-hour weeks, but nonetheless, there's still no excuse."
See the rest of the story at Business Insider
Credit: Reuters/Bobby Yip