Because 420 is the universal number indicating it's time to smoke some weed, it was easy to laugh off Musk's tweet as just one of his weird jokes. If the tweet is serious (and not the work of hackers or a particularly wild night on the factory floor), it would allow Tesla to go private and inject some much-needed capital into the company.
Not long after the announcement, Tesla's stock surged 6.8 percent to $365.36 - adding $900 million to Musk's fortune in the process.
"Being public means that there are large numbers of people who have the incentive to attack the company", he wrote.
A leveraged buyout of Tesla, which went public in 2010 on Nasdaq and which sports a market capitalization of almost $64 billion, or other take-private transaction would represent an abrupt change in financial strategy.
The tweets came after a report in the Financial Times that Saudi Arabia's sovereign wealth fund had taken a 3%-5% stake in Tesla, a holding worth at least $1.9bn. SpaceX is a ideal example: it is far more operationally efficient, and that is largely due to the fact that it is privately held.
The company has only posted a quarterly profit twice in its history and has never made money during an entire calendar year, something that Musk has been trying to change by cutting costs, including recent mass layoffs that trimmed Tesla's workforce by 9 percent.
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Only Toyota and Volkswagen would be worth substantially more than Tesla, which is now the world's fifth biggest automaker by market capitalization.
Here's what I envision being private would mean for all shareholders, including all of our employees. He went on to say he hopes all shareholders stick with the company but, if not, this is their time to exit while still making a "nice premium".
His plan, outlined in the email to employees, would give shareholders a choice to sell their shares or maintain a stake in the private company.
Third, the intention is not to merge SpaceX and Tesla.
The memo included some of the details Musk had tweeted earlier in the day; investors could stay in or be bought out at $420 a share, and shareholders would have an opportunity to sell or buy every six months.
Musk also denied giving donations to a political action committee dedicated to helping the Republicans maintain control of the house.
If shareholders approved the deal, it would remove Tesla from Wall Street scrutiny, eliminating the need to publicly disclose its earnings and - for Musk - the requirement to explain himself to shareholders. Either way, the future is very bright and we'll keep fighting to achieve our mission.