Tag Archives: Adviser
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission has sent subpoenas to Tesla Inc (TSLA.O) regarding Chief Executive Elon Musk’s plan to take the company private and his statement that funding was “secured,” Fox Business Network reported on Wednesday, citing sources.
The electric carmaker’s shares fell as much as 4 percent but cut their losses after Goldman Sachs Group Inc (GS.N) said it was dropping equity coverage of Tesla because it is acting as a financial adviser on a matter related to the automaker.
Investors viewed the Goldman statement as confirming a tweet from Elon Musk on Monday about working with Goldman, even as the reported subpoenas indicated the SEC has opened a formal investigation into a matter.
The latest news extended the roller-coaster ride for Tesla investors in recent days, adding to uncertainty about the future course of the company and whether a deal can be done amid growing regulatory complications.
Tesla and the SEC declined to comment.
Musk stunned investors and sent Tesla’s shares soaring 11 percent when he tweeted early last week that he was considering taking Tesla private at $ 420 per share and that he had secured funding for the potential deal.
The shares fell 2.6 percent to $ 338.69 on Wednesday, below $ 341.99, their closing price the day before Musk tweeted his plan to take Tesla private.
The Tesla CEO provided no details of his funding until Monday, when he said in a blog on Tesla’s website that he was in discussions with Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund and other potential backers but that financing was not yet nailed down.
Musk also tweeted late Monday night he was working with Goldman Sachs and private equity firm Silver Lake as financial advisers. However, as of Tuesday, Goldman was still negotiating its terms of engagement with Musk, according to a person familiar with the matter.
The 47-year old billionaire’s tweet about secured funding may have violated U.S. securities law if he misled investors. On Monday, lawyers told Reuters Musk’s statement indicated he had good reason to believe he had funding but seemed to have overstated its status by saying it was secured.
The SEC has opened an inquiry into Musk’s tweets, according to one person with direct knowledge of the matter. Reuters was not immediately able to ascertain if this had escalated into a full-blown investigation on Wednesday.
This source said Tesla’s independent board members had hired law firm Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP to help handle the SEC inquiry and other fiduciary duties with respect to a potential deal.
The Wall Street Journal said the SEC was seeking information from each Tesla director.
Reporting by Sonam Rai, Michelle Price and Supantha Mukherjee; Editing by Anil D’Silva, Nick Zieminski and Cynthia Osterman
BRUSSELS (Reuters) – An Austrian law student cannot bring a class action suit against Facebook’s Irish unit over alleged privacy violations in an Austrian court, an EU court adviser said on Tuesday, but can sue the company in his home country on his own behalf.
Arguing Facebook violated privacy rules, Max Schrems is claiming 500 euros ($ 576) in damages for each of some 25,000 signatories to his lawsuit, one of a series of European challenges to U.S. technology firms and their handling of personal data.
“A consumer who is entitled to sue his foreign contact partner in his own place of domicile, cannot invoke, at the same time as his own claims, claims on the same subject assigned by other consumers,” the EU top court’s Advocate General Michal Bobek said.
The advocate general, whose opinions are not binding but usually followed by the court, said allowing a class action suit in this case would lead consumers to choose the place of the most favorable court.
Privacy activist Schrems, who had argued that individual lawsuits on user privacy would be “impossible” due to the financial burden on users, said a ruling in line with the advocate general’s opinion would still allow him to set a precedent.
“In the advocate general’s view, I can at least bring a ‘model case’ at my home jurisdiction in Vienna, which may enable us to debate the illegal practices of Facebook in an open court for the first time,” Schrems said in a statement.
Facebook said the advocate general’s opinion supported the decision of two courts that Schrem’s claims could not proceed as a class action.
While common in the United States, class action suits are rarely recognized in Europe.
“It is not for the Court to create such collective redress in consumer matters, but eventually for the Union legislator,” the Advocate General said.
Reporting by Robert-Jan Bartunek in Brussels; additional reporting by Shadia Nasralla in Vienna; editing by Philip Blenkinsop and John Stonestreet