Elon Musk tweets he may take Tesla private

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Chief Executive Elon Musk said on Twitter he is considering taking Tesla Inc private at US$420 per share as the electric vehicle maker faces the challenges of fast growth and financial constraints, sending its shares up more than 6 per cent.

"I don't have a controlling vote now & wouldn't expect any shareholder to have one if we go private", Musk said in a follow-up tweet.

"Am considering taking Tesla private at $420".

A deal at $420 per share represents a 22.8% premium to Tesla's closing price on Monday, valuing the company at about $72bn.

Tesla did not immediately respond to a request for confirmation or clarification. The company had a market value of $58 billion as of Monday's close.

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Unlike publicly listed companies, private firms do not have to share details of their finances and operations.

On April Fool's Day, Mr Musk, who owns nearly 20% of the company, joked on Twitter about Tesla going bankrupt.

While Musk is known for making erratic tweets, he tweeted "420" in a reply to Fox Business anchor Liz Claman, following up on his initial tweet.

Shares in Tesla were up sharply following the tweet, trading at $363 at the time of writing. Musk has had feuds with regulators, critics and reporters, and questions remain about Tesla's production and manufacturing difficulties, long-term demand for its cars and uncertainty over funding.

Tesla has spent millions as it reached a goal of producing 5,000 Model 3 sedans per week by the end of June.

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