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- At Tesla’s AI Day event, Elon Musk touted the benefits of Tesla being a publicly traded company.
- Musk seems to have changed his stance since tweeting that he was considering taking Tesla private in 2018.
- Part of Musk’s initial $44 billion bid to buy Twitter was financed by a huge loan against his Tesla shares.
Over the last four years, Elon Musk seems to have changed his tune about being a private company.
In more than one instance during Tesla’s AI Day event on Friday, Musk touted the benefits of Tesla being a publicly traded company, a very different stance than he has held in the past.
“Tesla… being a single class of stock owned by the public is very important and should not be overlooked. I think this is essential because if the public does not like what Tesla is doing … the public could buy shares in Tesla and vote differently,” Musk said.
“This is a big deal. It’s very important that I can’t just do what I want. Sometimes people think that, but it’s not true,” he added when discussing Tesla’s plans to develop its humanoid AI robot.
Just over four years ago, the Tesla CEO made waves when he tweeted that he was considering taking the company private.
—Elon Musk (@elonmusk)
August 7, 2018
One month after sending that tweet, Musk settled fraud charges with the SEC for allegedly “false and misleading statements.” Musk neither admitted nor denied the allegations, but he resigned as Tesla’s chairman and paid a $20 million fine.
Musk is currently embroiled in a legal battle with Twitter over whether he will buy the social media company for $44 billion. Musk’s initial takeover bid was financed by a huge loan against his Tesla shares. Tesla’s shares are down more than 30% this year, which puts him in a potentially shakier financial position should his agreement to buy Twitter be ruled legally binding.