Elon Musk's tweet that he is considering taking Tesla private has ignited a firestorm of speculation about how he could pull off such a deal.
A leveraged buyout, as CNBC's Leslie Picker points out, seems infeasible since Tesla does not generate the cash flow necessary to pay out the debt.
That leaves a take-private structure that primarily involves equity. The amount of money needed seems daunting. Some 170 million shares times $420 amounts to $71.4 billion. It would be the largest take-private transaction in history.
But maybe he doesn't need to raise all that money. Maybe he just needs to get existing shareholders to believe in his vision, and drag in a few others.
At least one minority stakeholder appears to be ruling itself out. Reuters reported on Saturday that Saudi Arabia's Public Investment Fund (PIF) has shown no interest so far in financing a deal, despite acquiring a minority stake in the company this year.
However, the good news is Musk himself controls 20 percent of the stock. Let's look at the top five shareholders: