The Wall Street Journal reported Wednesday that federal financial regulators may be investigating a series of tweets sent by Tesla CEO Elon Musk suggesting that the automaker was considering a large-scale stock buyback to take the company private.
SEC investigators may be considering a range of violations that include failing to disclose to shareholders or Tesla’s board of directors the source of the funding through formal financial disclosures, or attempting to artificially raise the company’s value ahead through the news snippet.
Tesla’s board of directors on Wednesday sent out a message that Musk had advised the board about the potential offer, although scant information about the alleged meetings and the proposed buyback had led some to speculate that Tesla’s board of directors may be backtracking to avoid fallout from SEC regulators.
The leveraged buyback would be one of the largest in history, with Tesla’s estimated worth around $70 to $80 billion.
Musk is CEO and chairman of Tesla.