Elon Musk's $2.4 billion windfall as Tesla shares bounce back
02 October, 2018, 21:58 | Author: Lawrence Cooper
Tesla shares plunged around 14 percent on Friday, the day after the SEC charged Musk with misleading investors, and are down 30 percent since his August 7 tweet saying he was considering taking the company private at $420 a share.
According to the settlement, Tesla and Musk will pay $20m each to financial regulators and Musk will step down as chairman but remain as chief executive.
Now, the company has to hire a chairman to replace Musk (something corporate governance experts have suggested for years), along with 2 new independent directors.
The $40 million of penalties paid by Musk and Tesla will be distributed to investors harmed by Musk's tweet.
According to The Washington Post, the SEC had offered similar settlement terms a week prior to the lawsuit that Musk passionately declined, saying the "unjustified action" left him "deeply saddened and disappointed". Musk is Tesla's largest investor, holding a 20-percent stake in the company.
Many see the forced changes as being positive for Tesla, partly because the mercurial Musk will now have someone to answer to, and partly because his reduced role may allow the chronically overworkedCEO to focus more.
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Including the Model S and Model X, Tesla produced 80,142 vehicles and delivered 83,500. The SEC's complaint alleged that Musk had made "false and misleading" statements, with Tesla's share price having risen on the back of Musk's tweet.
Musk said in a tweet in May that the company would need to sustain production of 5,000 Model 3s per week to make a profit on the critical auto and to survive.
Tesla stock rose 17.3 per cent to $US310.70 after a 14 per cent plunge on Friday. It was one of Elon's first tweets since settling with the regulatory agency.
Model 3 production, while impressive, is still also far below the target Tesla set itself in its Q2 investor update. Since starting the production of the electric sedan a year ago, the Model 3 ramp has been beset by multiple challenges, including bottlenecks in both the Fremont factory and Gigafactory 1.
Lawyers said that the settlement and size of the fine might give more ammunition to short-sellers pursuing separate cases against Musk for manipulating the company's shares through the August 7 tweet, as well as to an investigation by the US Justice Department.
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President Donald Trump ordered the additional FBI investigation Friday at the request of the Senate Judiciary Committee . It will allow the FBI to investigate allegations of sexual assault leveled against Kavanaugh by several women.
He was also caught on tape in 2005 boasting of grabbing women by their genitals and kissing them without permission. She said Judge, who has denied any part in such an attack, jumped on them and she was able to escape.
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