Tesla to issue more than $2 billion in debt to fund expansion
Tesla launched issues of new shares and debt worth more than $2 billion Thursday, with chief executive Elon Musk pitching in $10 million as the electric car maker gave in to Wall Street pressure to bolster its cash reserves.
Analysts have been predicting for months that Tesla would need to raise funds for its expansion plans, which include the construction of a factory in Shanghai, the upcoming Model Y SUV, and the crucial ramp-up of Model 3 sedan production.
Shares in the Silicon Valley company rose more than 5 percent on news of the capital raise plan, which follows Musk’s hint last week that fundraising was imminent after Tesla lost $700 million in the first quarter.
The company said in the filing that it would seek to raise $650 million in new shares and $1.35 billion in debt, with underwriters having the option to buy an additional 15 percent of each offering, potentially raising the proceeds to $2.3 billion.
“This was a smart move by Musk and Tesla to rip the band-aid off and go to the capital markets,” Dan Ives, an analyst with Wedbush Securities, said in a note.
“The growing worries around capital were a black cloud over the stock on the heels of the company’s troubled March results and the choppy path ahead.”
In first-quarter results that disappointed many on Wall Street last week, Musk promised the company would deliver a profit again by the third quarter of this year, but the company’s huge investments mean it is leaking cash swiftly.
Tesla expects capital expenditures of $2 billion to $2.5 billion this year and about $2.5 billion to $3 billion annually for the next two fiscal years. It ended its first quarter with $2.2 billion in cash.
Analysts said last week the company would probably seek between $1 billion and $3 billion, and that it would cost significantly more than it would have a year ago, when some on Wall Street were already calling for a capital raise.
Tesla has raised funds through bank loans, several rounds of equity sales, issued convertible notes, a junk bond sale, securitization of its vehicle leases and solar asset-backed notes.
A previous issue of shares in 2017 went at $262 a share, compared to the company’s current price of $246. The yield on its existing $1.8 billion junk bond rose to 8.42 percent Friday in anticipation of the new issuance, more than 3 percentage points above its 5.3 percent coupon.
Goldman Sachs and Citigroup will manage the offering. BofA Merrill Lynch, Deutsche Bank Securities, Morgan Stanley and Credit Suisse are the additional book-running managers.
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