Elon Musk tweet: "Considering taking Tesla private"

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Chief Executive Elon Musk jolted financial markets on Tuesday with a surprise statement suggesting he is considering taking the electric-car maker private. He said is considering taking the company private at $420 a share and already has secured funding.

Tesla has been publicly traded since 2010, and has seen its share price rise from just under $20 then to $360 at time of writing. Much of that increase was driven by an earlier report that Saudi Arabia's sovereign wealth fund has bought $2 billion in Tesla stock, representing a 3-5% stake in the company. Shares are up as high as 9% on the day. Musk owns almost 20% of the company. "Funding secured", Musk said in the tweet.

It was not clear if Musk was serious, as he has a history of erratic tweets, and the company did not immediately respond to request for comment. However, they are still a long way off the $420 price teased by Musk.

$420 per share would be a significant premium on where Tesla is now trading, and also its performance over the first half of the year.