'Private' mess: Elon Musk's credibility goes from bad to worse

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At the opening bell Monday, Tesla Inc. was trading at $319.96, down less than 1 percent.

Volkswagen was one of the companies lined up to contribute funding to take Tesla private, according to a report from The Wall Street Journal.

In the blog post, published without the fanfare of his earlier tweets, Musk said it had become clear to him that, while "there was more than enough funding" to take Tesla private, doing so would estrange numerous company's existing shareholders (and most ardent supporters of the company). "While we are always looking for highly talented executives at Tesla, there is no active COO search", a Tesla spokesperson said in an email.

"What happened on Friday will be of interest to the SEC because it will allow them to probe whether Musk's pulling back from the go-private somehow indicates that he did not have a reasonable basis for his statement".

Several analysts suggested that Mr Musk could be replaced as chief executive or that a chief operating officer may be hired to support him. It quickly became clear that many of Tesla's investors would not have been able to follow, as internal investment regulation would have tied quite a few hands.

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VW is also the only other company set to rival Tesla in building a network of fast chargers, after it was ordered to spend $2 billion to build a fast-charge network across America as part of its court settlement related to diesel emissions cheating. A Tesla spokesman on Sunday referred to those previous comments.

Musk also said the company "absolutely must stay focused on ramping Model 3 and becoming profitable".

David Johnson, a managing partner at corporate restructuring firm Abraxas Group, told FOX Business that Musk had made a misstep firing the tweet off.

According to the report, the new institutional investors would want greater control of the company.

The SEC investigation and investor lawsuits related to the whipsawing stock will at minimum continue to divert management's time from operations, Joel Levington, a senior credit analyst with Bloomberg Intelligence, said in a note Saturday. Musk said earlier this month that the company's "default plan" would be to fund that expansion by borrowing money from Chinese banks.

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