Shares of Tesla, up 1.6% in the past year, fell almost 1% in early trading Wednesday. It rose slightly in early trading, moving to about $375 per share by 10:45 a.m. ET.
About three hours into the trading day, Mr. Musk startled investors by writing on Twitter: "Am considering taking Tesla private at $420". Being public also subjects us to the quarterly earnings cycle that puts enormous pressure on Tesla to make decisions that may be right for a given quarter, but not necessarily right for the long term.
"They're being bombarded with questions that we don't think are as relevant to the long-term value of the company", said Sam Korus, an analyst for ARK Investment Management, which had 443,874 Tesla shares as of June 30.
Rather, it was attributed to Brad Buss, Robyn Denholm, Ira Ehrenpreis, Antonio Gracias, Linda Johnson Rice, and James Murdoch.
Tesla said on Wednesday the discussions had addressed the issue of how to fund such a deal, but gave no details.
The board members said they were "taking the appropriate next steps" to evaluate the proposal.
Going private is one way to avoid close scrutiny by the public market as Musk and the company face those challenges.
In that time, Tesla short-sellers - Musk's sworn enemies - may have lost more than $800m, according to estimates from financial-technology firm S3 Partners, while his 20% stake reportedly gained $851m.
If the content of Musk's tweet was not true, lawyers argue, it could expose Tesla's mercurial chief executive officer and the company to regulatory action and private lawsuits.
It's possible Musk could persuade some large institutional investors to remain shareholders in the private company, which could reduce his funding needs, Sacconaghi said. The company declined to comment beyond pointing to an all-employee email sent Tuesday by Musk. "And if you stay as a shareholder you get less information than before and you depend more and more on Elon Musk". The move would also foreclose the option of selling more stock to raise cash every year, a move which Musk has disfavored in recent years.
"Last week, Elon opened a discussion with the board about taking the company private", the board members wrote.