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UPDATE: Tesla board evaluating taking the company private

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UPDATE: Tesla board evaluating taking the company private

Tesla Inc.'s board has issued a statement saying that it is evaluating taking the company private, following Tesla CEO Elon Musk's statements that he was considering doing so.

"Last week, Elon opened a discussion with the board about taking the company private. This included discussion as to how being private could better serve Tesla’s long-term interests, and also addressed the funding for this to occur. The board has met several times over the last week and is taking the appropriate next steps to evaluate this," the board said in its statement.

On Aug. 7, the CEO tweeted that he was considering taking the car maker private, following reports that Saudi Arabia's sovereign wealth fund acquired about 3% to 5% of shares in the electric vehicle maker. "Am considering taking Tesla private at $420. Funding secured," Musk said on Twitter. Shares closed about 11% higher in heavy trading after his statements. Tesla shares are gaining 8.6% in morning trade at around $380.

Musk, who owns 20% of Tesla, said any proposal to go private would need to be approved by shareholders. T. Rowe Price Group Inc. and FMR LLC are the two largest shareholders after Musk.

Article updated at 9:36 a.m. ET on Aug. 8, 2018, with additional details.