Electric carmaker Tesla Motors unveils $167 million IPO

Silicon Valley electric-vehicle start-up Tesla Motors yesterday unveiled a long anticipated plan to go public through an initial public offering (IPO) to raise about $167 million on 29 June 2010.

Palo Alto, California-based Tesla designs and manufactures electric-vehicles (EV) and their powertrain components. It is currently the only automaker in the US that builds and sells highway-capable EVs in serial production and has delivered more than 1000 Roadsters, the first production automobile to use lithium-ion battery cells, to customers in North America, Europe and Asia.

Yesterday, in a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, the company said that it planned to sell as many as 12.8 million shares at a likely offer price at $14 to $16 a share.

The offer price values the start-up company at $1.3 billion to $1.5 billion, steep for the electric carmaker that has yet to show profits since its inception in 2003.

Tesla's co-founder and chairman Elon Musk and venture capitalists who have invested in the company will sell their shares, with Musk likely to take home a cool $21 million, based on the assumption that the shares are offered at a midrange of $15 each.

Immediately after close of the IPO, Japan's Toyota, the world's largest car maker that makes  the hybrid Prius, will buy $50 million worth of Tesla shares at a private placement, taking a 3.6-per cent stake in the company, and co-operate in developing electric vehicles. (See: Toyota invests $50 million in Tesla Motors for electric car tie-up)