Energy

Tesla Dumps $2 Billion Of Stock To Finance Model 3, Pay Down Elon Musk’s Loan Debt

(REUTERS/Stephen Lam/Files)

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Chris White Tech Reporter

Tesla Motors will sell $2 billion worth of stock so it can finance the production of its supposedly inexpensive Model 3 electric vehicle as well as cover tax obligations for the options exercised by the company’s CEO, Elon Musk.

The California-based automaker will cough up $1.4 billion in common stock to cover the expenses associated with the production of its coming Model 3, which has racked up more than 320,000 pre-orders and is priced at $35,000. Company officials said Wednesday the automaker aims to build a half million vehicles within the next two years.

Tesla says it expects to raise a total of nearly $1.7 billion after fees, and Musk will receive the remaining portion, all of which will go toward covering the $5.5 million in stock option — he will not receive any cash from the deal. The company disclosed the stock dump at 4 p.m. Wednesday, shortly after shares of Tesla gained less than one percent in after-hours trading on Nasdaq.

Musk owes a sizeable amount of money on loans and options he exercised to inject capital into Tesla.

As a result, the titular head of Tesla will owe taxes on 5,503,972 stock options he exercised totaling nearly $36.5 million. The stock options were set to expire by the end of 2016.

Musk used a loan from Morgan Stanley, according to a securities filing obtained by the Wall Street Journal, to bankroll the purchase of the exercised options. The total amount of the loan is $299 million, or more than a quarter-billion dollars.

Analysts are skeptical of Musk’s ability to deliver nearly 350,000 Model 3s to the market.

Nissan’s CEO Carlos Ghosn, for instance, announced in 2010 a lofty goal of producing more than 500,000 units for its Leaf EV. Ghosn sunk $5.6 billion into three plants around the world. The results were underwhelming; the Leaf has performed well in the electric vehicle market, but it still has not yet sold more than 300,000 units cumulatively over the past six years.

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