Investors to get their say after Musk scuttles Tesla buyout

Bumpy ride for investors after Tesla boss Elon Musk's U-turn

Tesla shares slip after company decides to stay public

Investors in electric auto firm Tesla are braced for rocky trading today after boss Elon Musk abandoned a shock plan to take the firm private.

Tesla's stock dropped from $379.57 at close on August 7-the day of the "going-private" tweet-to $322.82 at close on August 24, just before Musk said later in the day that Tesla stays public.

Now, Musk and his team are working to meet them under even more scrutiny from regulators and from shareholders, and with more competition - the Saudi Public Investment Fund recently made what is likely a billion-dollar deal with Lucid Motors, another electric auto company vying for the same milestones and clientele as Tesla.

Tesla also said on Sunday it was not searching for a chief operating officer - a No. 2 executive that critics claim Musk badly needs, as his micromanaging ways have lately led to him to sleep on the floor of Tesla's factory in Fremont, Calif.

"While we are always looking for highly talented executives (...) there is no active COO search", a spokesman said by email.

US securities law requires public company executives to have a "reasonable basis" on which to make representations to the investing public, and that would likely be the focus of an SEC probe, said three securities lawyers.

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Tesla declined to comment while Volkswagen did not immediately respond to Business Insider's inquiry into the matter.

"With its long term mission intact but short term growth shaky, serious gaps in execution skills and a board under pressure for not assuming its duties, now may be the time for third parties to get involved, be it from technology or even oil", Jefferies analyst Philippe Houchois told clients. In addition, Musk said that the process of going private would be time-consuming and a distraction from the company's ramp-up of Model 3 production. The bold tweet sent Tesla's stock skywards but it also drew intense scrutiny.

Musk himself said in an interview that he is using sleeping drugs and working 120-hour weeks to boost production at Tesla.

This week would also be an inopportune time for a capital raising, given that many bankers and investors are away ahead of the September 3 Labor Day holiday.

Tesla earlier this year announced plans to build a battery and vehicle assembly complex in China.

In this week's Counting the Cost, Al Jazeera asks Arash Massoudi, the Financial Times editor who broke the story of Saudi Arabia's stake in Tesla, what may have been behind Musk's tweets and earlier hints that his company was poised to organise one of the biggest leveraged buy-outs in history.

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