Tesla’s Board Moves to Oversee Musk’s Efforts to Take Company Private

Tesla announced Tuesday that its board had created a special committee to review a potential proposal by Elon Musk, the company’s chief executive, to take the company private.

The board, caught by surprise last week after Mr. Musk posted a cryptic tweet about having “funding secured” for a possible buyout of the electric carmaker, said that it had yet to receive a formal proposal or reach “any conclusion as to the advisability or feasibility of such a transaction.”

The three independent directors who make up the special committee, Brad Buss, Robyn Denholm and Linda Johnson Rice, “have the full power and authority” of the board to evaluate and negotiate any potential transaction to take Tesla private, the company said.

The company stressed Tuesday that “no assurances can be given” that any proposal from Mr. Musk would be accepted.

[Read more about the questions raised by Elon Musk’s announcement of a potential buyout for Tesla]

Tesla said that Latham & Watkins was serving as legal counsel to the special committee, which plans to bring on an independent financial adviser once it receives a formal proposal. The company said it separately hired the law firm Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati “as legal counsel in this matter.”.

On Monday night, Mr. Musk posted on Twitter that he was working with Silver Lake and Goldman Sachs as financial advisers on a proposal to take Tesla private. He also wrote that he had hired two law firms — Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz and Munger, Tolles & Olson — as legal advisers.

[Our columnist Andrew Ross Sorkin asks, is Twitter the right forum for C.E.O.s to disseminate market-moving information?]

Tesla’s efforts to wrest the situation from its unpredictable chief executive and co-founder come after Mr. Musk declared in a blog post on Monday that he had communicated for more than a year with a Saudi sovereign wealth fund about taking the company private. He said he had left one recent meeting “with no question” that a deal with the fund could be closed, though people familiar with the workings of the fund cast doubt on his account on Monday.

The blog post appeared to be an attempt to address investors and financiers who were caught off guard by his initial tweet, on Aug. 7, announcing that he was “considering taking Tesla private at $420.” Such disclosures are usually made in regulatory filings; the tweet led to an inquiry from the Securities and Exchange Commission about Mr. Musk’s choice of forum.

In his blog post, Mr. Musk said that “the right thing to do was to announce my intentions publicly” to all shareholders. But according to people familiar with the situation, Mr. Musk told an informal adviser that he had posted on Twitter impulsively and as an angry reaction to the company’s critics.

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