Tesla Inc.’s (TSLA) board plans to meet with financial advisors next week to formalize a process to explore Elon Musk's proposal to take the automaker private, people familiar with the matter told CNBC.
The anonymous sources said Tesla’s board is likely to develop a special committee made up of a smaller number of independent directors to review buyout details. Sources also expect executives to tell Musk, the company’s chairman and CEO, to recuse himself from the process and hire his own separate set of advisors.
Sources speaking with Reuters on Thursday said that the board has held multiple discussions about Musk's proposal and is seeking information about funding.
Tesla stock was up 2.32% in pre-market trading on Friday.
CNBC’s report came several days after Musk stunned financial markets by revealing on Twitter that he is considering taking the automaker private. Musk’s bold claim that Tesla already has the funding in place to delist itself from the public glare of the stock exchange has yet to be verified. The company declined to comment on whether its CEO’s financing comments were true, while the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission has since begun to make its own inquiries to check the veracity of Musk's controversial tweet. (See also: SEC Probing Tesla CEO Musk's Tweets: Reports.)
One of CNBC’s sources said Musk previously discussed plans to take Tesla private with a Saudi Arabian sovereign wealth fund. The Financial Times reported earlier this week that Saudi's Public Investment Fund bought a 3% to 5% stake in the electric car maker. However, it is not known whether this same fund is prepared to finance Tesla’s bid to buy out shareholders.
The expected decision by Tesla’s board to ask Musk to excuse himself from future talks is not unusual in these types of cases, notes CNBC. When Michael Dell took Dell private in 2012 and 2013, his board also requested that he remove himself from discussions and hire his own advisors.
Like Dell, Musk has a big stake in the company he runs. The entrepreneur owns about 20% of Tesla, meaning there is a potential conflict of interest should he head talks to take the automaker private.
On Twitter, Musk said he would take the company private for $420 a share, valuing Tesla at around $71 billion. The company currently has a market capitalization of $59.3 billion. (See also: What If Tesla Goes Private?)