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投资理财

特斯拉要私有化,投资者该怎么办?卖出还是持有?

彭博社 2018年08月10日

埃隆·马斯克私有化特斯拉的豪赌给投资者留下了一大堆问题和风险,可能会让一些股东陷入困境。

特斯拉的首席执行官马斯克于本周二在推特(Twitter)上公布了以每股420美元的价格将公司私有化的想法。这一推文不代表最终的决定,但却引发了无数的猜测,也把这家电动汽车厂商的股价推到了今年的最高点。

这一可能性也给特斯拉的投资者——无论是大型的共同基金还是散户——留下了一大堆问题和风险,以及一个可能的重要抉择:他们可以选择以较低的溢价现在卖掉股票,也可以选择继续持有,赌私有化的特斯拉会在长远的未来给他们带来更多利益。

马斯克想要摆脱做空者和每个季度发布财报的压力,发布推文后,他又在一份信中表示他会给股东一个选择,特斯拉私有化以后,他们可以继续当投资者,或是拿钱并放弃股权。不过对于散户而言,公众股变成私股的先例几乎没有。而共同基金的经营者可能需要考虑自己能够分配多少资金持有缺乏流动性的股票。

特斯拉的发言人拒绝对此发表评论。

散户投资者

马斯克最大的信徒群体中,有一群他登月计划的愿景和热爱所感召的散户投资者。如果马斯克把公司私有化,这些投资者有理由谨慎行事。

密歇根大学(University of Michigan)罗斯商学院(Ross School of Business)的教授埃里克·戈登表示,马斯克需要仔细想想办法,让现有的散户投资者自愿保留这家私有化公司的股权,但他们持股价值的透明度会有所损失。

戈登在本周三的采访中表示:“他们要蒙着眼睛展开一次长期的投资。他们会坐在一辆飞速行驶的车中,路面崎岖不平,而现在他们什么都看不到。”

不过,他表示,许多散户投资特斯拉都是出于对马斯克的信赖,因此他们或许愿意踏上这段旅程。

私有化公司可能也会对一些小型投资者造成障碍。马斯克可以相对容易地在私有化的特斯拉中继续给员工发行股票。私有化的结构也许会阻止新的散户投资者加入,因为私有股份受到证券法的豁免,往往要求买方是有资质的投资者,拥有高净值且经验丰富。

对一些看好特斯拉的股东来说,卖掉股票会损失太多钱。Gerber Kawasaki Inc.的首席执行官罗斯·格伯称,他的公司代表散户持有价值大约1,500万美元的特斯拉股票。除非别无选择,否则他不会卖掉股票。格伯表示,马斯克如果开价420美元,那就太低了,他认为特斯拉的每股价值为571美元。

格伯在采访中表示:“没有谁是为了把特斯拉的股票在420美元的价位上卖出而买它的。他们购买特斯拉的股票,是因为十年后它的价值会达到如今的10倍。特斯拉将成为下一个亚马逊(Amazon)或谷歌(Google)。”

此外,Carlyle Group Inc.的联合创始人大卫·鲁宾斯坦在周三接受Bloomberg Radio采访时表示,因为以首席执行官领导的买断可能会导致潜在的利益冲突,独立的董事会需要确保整个过程公平执行。

鲁宾斯坦在公司私有化和上市方面有着丰富的经验,他说:“如果领导私有化的是首席执行官,那么董事会就必须确保一切都在公平条件下进行,而不是单单有利于首席执行官。”

共同基金

彭博社收集的数据显示,投资顾问持有的股份占到了特斯拉总股份的64%。除了马斯克自己持有公司20%的股份之外,特斯拉的大股东还包括T. Rowe Price Group Inc.,以及富达投资集团(Fidelity Investments)的母公司FMR LLC。

法规规定,共同基金的非流动性投资,不得超过资产的15%。不过非上市流通的证券可能会被视为流动资产。

这些基金也可以利用自己的资产。例如,富达的发言人查尔斯·凯勒就表示,他们的共同基金可以最多把自己10%的资产用于非流动性投资。

实际上,多数大型基金只会把自己1%至3%的资产用于这种投资。富达还持有了Uber Technologies Inc.、Lyft Inc.和爱彼迎(Airbnb Inc.)等许多私有公司的股票。

Morningstar Inc.的管理研究主管拉塞尔·金奈尔表示,许多共同基金拥有私有公司的股票,因为他们认为那些公司最终会上市。但特斯拉的情况更加复杂难明。

金奈尔说:“特斯拉的情况相反,它要从上市公司变成私人公司。这个议题有点棘手。”他推测大部分基金倾向于卖掉特斯拉的股份,或者保留一小部分,以此继续了解公司的情况。(财富中文网)

译者:严匡正

Musk, Tesla’s chief executive officer, floated the idea of going private at a price of $420 per share Tuesday on Twitter. The tweet, which does not represent a final decision, touched off a firestorm of speculation and sent shares of the electric-car maker to their highest price this year.

The possibility also leaves Tesla investors — both big mutual funds and retail holders alike — with a thicket of questions, risk and perhaps a big decision: They can sell now at a low premium or hang on and bet that in the long run a private Tesla will pay out even more.

Musk, who wants relief from short-sellers and quarter-to-quarter pressures, said in a letter following the tweet that he would like to give shareholders a choice to either remain investors in a private Tesla or get bought out. But for retail investors, little precedent exists for converting public shares to private ones. Mutual fund operators might need to wrestle with limits on how much they can allocate to more illiquid holdings.

A Tesla spokesman declined to comment.

Retail Investors

Some of Musk’s big believers are mom and pop investors attracted to the entrepreneur’s vision and penchant for tackling moonshot projects. If Musk takes the company private, there’s reason for those investors to proceed with caution.

Musk could carefully engineer a way for existing retail investors to voluntarily keep their shares in a private vehicle, but they would lose some transparency on their value, said Erik Gordon, professor at the University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business.

“They are going to be buckled in for a long-term ride, blind-folded,” Gordon said in an interview Wednesday. “They’ll be in a very fast car, going down a bumpy road, now blind-folded.”

But many retail investors may take the journey since they own the stock based on their belief in Musk, he said.

A private vehicle could pose hurdles for some small investors too. Musk could continue to issue shares of a privately held Tesla to employees relatively easily. The private structure might keep out new mom-and-pop investors because private shares fall under securities law exemptions that most often require buyers to be an accredited investor — with a high net worth and sophistication.

For some bullish Tesla shareholders, tendering their shares would leave too much money on the table. Ross Gerber, CEO of Gerber Kawasaki Inc., said his firm holds about $15 million in Tesla stock on behalf of his retail customers. He said he would only tender his shares if he had no alternative. Gerber said Musk’s suggested price if $420 a share is way too low and thinks the stock is worth $571 a share.

“No one bought Tesla to sell at $420,” Gerber said in a interview. “They bought it because, over 10 years, it could be worth 10 times that. It could be the next Amazon or Google.”

Moreover, because a CEO-led buyout could come with potential conflicts of interest, an independent board would have to ensure that the procedure is executed fairly, David Rubenstein, co-founder of the Carlyle Group Inc., said in a Bloomberg Radio interview Wednesday.

“If the CEO is going to lead it, the board would have to make certain everything is done fairly so it’s not just to the advantage of the CEO,” said Rubenstein, who has extensive experience with taking companies private and public.

Mutual Funds

Investment advisers account for 64 percent of ownership of Tesla shares, according to data collected by Bloomberg. Beyond Musk’s own personal 20 percent stake in the company, big holders include T. Rowe Price Group Inc. and FMR LLC, the parent of Fidelity Investments.

Regulatory limits dictate that mutual funds cannot have more than 15 percent of assets held in illiquid investments. But private securities may be treated as liquid.

Funds can enforce their own caps as well. For instance, Fidelity mutual funds can hold up to 10 percent of their assets in illiquid securities, according to spokesman Charles Keller.

In practice most of its large funds hold only about 1 to 3 percent in such holdings. Fidelity also owns stakes in a number of private companies including Uber Technologies Inc., Lyft Inc. and Airbnb Inc.

Russel Kinnel, director of manager research at Morningstar Inc., said that a number of mutual funds own shares in private companies on the assumption that those companies will eventually go public. But with Tesla the situation is murkier.

“With Tesla you would be going the other way, from public to private. That could be a tricky proposition,” he said. He speculated that most funds would opt to sell their shares or perhaps keep just a small stake in Tesla to stay informed about the company.

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