Tesla Motors plans $167-million stock offering


Electric-car maker Tesla Motors Inc. plans to raise about $167 million by selling stock to the public later this year.

The Palo Alto maker of a $109,000 Roadster electric sports car said in a Securities and Exchange Commission filing Tuesday that it planned to sell as much as 12.8 million shares for up to $14 to $16 each in an initial public offering.

The offering is “highly anticipated” and values the company at about $1.5 billion, according to IPO research firm Renaissance Capital.

Current owners — primarily venture capitalists and Tesla Chief Executive Elon Musk — will sell about 2.2 million of the shares. Musk looks to make about $21 million from the deal, assuming the shares sell at the midpoint of the offering target, or for $15 each.

As soon as the offering closes, Toyota Motor Corp. will purchase $50 million of the stock in a private placement, giving it a 3.6% stake in the electric auto company.

Tesla also has an agreement to pay $42 million for a shuttered auto factory in Fremont, Calif., which Toyota and General Motors Co. formerly operated jointly until earlier this year. Tesla will make its new Model S sedan at the plant.

In its SEC filing, Tesla said it was reserving the purchase of about 900,000 shares in the offering for customers who had received delivery of a Tesla Roadster from the automaker, as well as business associates, employees and friends and family members of the employees.

Tesla plans to use funds from the offering to develop the Model S electric sedan. Tesla said the Model S will accelerate from zero to 60 miles per hour in just 5.6 seconds, making it among the fastest four-door sedans on the road. It is expected to get 160 to 300 miles on a single charge depending on the version.

The Model S will sell for about $57,400 (before a $7,500 federal tax credit).

Tesla is controlled by Musk, a PayPal Inc. co-founder who made millions when he sold the online payment business in 2002. Musk then invested in Tesla and Hawthorne-based Space Exploration Technologies Corp., which is developing the Falcon 9 booster, a nine-story-tall private rocket that recently had a successful debut launch from Cape Canaveral, Fla.