Tesla launches $5 billion capital raise, tapping in on share increase

Tesla Model S

Tesla Inc on Tuesday revealed its biggest program of new share sales as a public company, seeking to cash in on increasing Wall Street interest in the electric automaker to raise up to $5 billion that will ease future debt pressures.

The move comes a day following a 5-for-1 stock split took effect, the automaker’s first since its initial public offering in June 2010, and comes after an almost six-fold boost in the value of its shares this year.

Tuesday’s share sale comes as the automaker seeks to massively broaden the production of its current vehicles and build new factories near Berlin, Germany, and Austin, Texas. The company also prepares to launch new lines of vehicles, including a semi-truck called the Tesla Semi and its futuristic Cybertruck.

Tesla said it prepares to use proceeds from the offering to empower its balance sheet and for general corporate purposes.

Ten major banks, including Goldman Sachs, Bank of America Securities, Citigroup Global Markets, and Morgan Stanley, will conduct the sale, the electric automaker said in a filing, providing no deadline for its completion.

Tesla in February had announced prepares to raise $2 billion in a stock offering.

Tesla shares, which increased by about 8% in early premarket trading, retreated to trade about 1% higher on the day following the news.

The company’s high-flying stock has increased another 70% since the split was announced on August 11, and was trading at over $2,000 before the division on Friday.

With a market capitalization now around $465 billion, it became the world’s biggest automobile company by value in July and has propelled CEO Elon Musk’s personal fortune past $110 billion.

Musk has repeatedly assured investors over the last year that Tesla would not need to raise more money for expensive expansion initiatives or to pay down debt.

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