Tesla announces plans to sell up to US$5B in new stock shares

A day after its 5-for-1 stock split took effect, Tesla is announcing plans to sell up to US$5 billion worth of common shares.

Tesla has announced plans to sell US$5 billion worth of common shares for corporate purposes.

The electric car and solar panel maker says in a filing with securities regulators that it intends to sell up to 10.03 million shares and use the proceeds for unspecified general corporate purposes.

The sales would be made “from time to time” and Tesla says the actual amount of the offering can’t be determined at present.

The stock would be sold through 10 different brokerage houses, and each would get a 0.5 per cent commission.

Co-founder of Tesla Motors Elon Musk (File photo)

Tesla shares fell 2.4 per cent in trading Tuesday morning after the filing with the US Securities and Exchange Commission. It closed Monday at US$498.32. Any stock sales would likely dilute the value of current shareholders’ investments.

As of June 30, Tesla had US$8.6 billion in cash and roughly US$8.5 billion in debt excluding vehicle and solar panel financing. The company has to finance some big-ticket capital spending this year because it’s building a new factory in Germany and has plans for an additional plant outside of Austin, Texas. It’s also gearing up to roll out its new “Cybertruck” pickup and a semi sometime next year.

Wedbush analyst Daniel Ives wrote in a note to investors Tuesday that the timing of the equity offering is good in order to shore up the Palo Alto, California, company’s balance sheet. There is strong demand from investors at present to buy Tesla after a huge rally, he wrote.

CEO Elon Musk is “raising enough capital to get the balance sheet and capital structure to further firm up its growing cash position and slowly get out of its debt situation,” Ives wrote. The added capital “throws the lingering bear thesis for Tesla out the window for now,” he added.

Goldman Sachs, Bank of America, Barclays, Citigroup, Deutsche Bank, Morgan Stanley, Credit Suisse, SG Americas, Wells Fargo and BNP Paribas are listed as the sales agents for the offering.